masterpiece after River of Rebirth.

2022-11-30 03:26:00

Matthew Barney, an avant-garde artist who is good at alternative image narration





Stills of River of Rebirth



The special exhibition Fortress held by UCCA Ullens Contemporary Art Center in 2022 is Matthew Barney's first large-scale solo exhibition in China. The exhibition spans a long time (May 28, 2022 to May 12, 2022), and is also another important masterpiece after River of Rebirth.





"Fortress" stills



The film is based on the zigzag mountains in northwestern Idaho, and tells the story of Borzoi in the zigzag mountains. The story is wrapped with complex relationships derived from ancient Greek and Roman myths and legends, and dance is also interspersed between the bridge segments (the usual way)





Stills of River of Rebirth



When it comes to the competition between humans and animals in nature, the camera basically turns to the animal side. As he said, "How to transform a political debate theme into a non political artistic creation" In terms of dialogue, the film, like most of his previous films, is close to zero dialogue.





Still of Hanging Wire 1



The communication between characters depends on the interaction of body language (dance), which is basically arranged according to the body language in the opera. In the film, the encounter between humans and wolves is echoed and predicted by dancing. In terms of visual extension, he still continues his ability to control the big scene and his attention to the landscape as the background and theme.





Sculpture Works of UCCA Fortress Special Exhibition



Every exhibition of Barney often belongs to a hodgepodge of exhibition and presentation. He likes to incorporate the performance of opera into it. Opera like performance can be seen in many previous films.





The stills of "Describing Constraints"



Especially in the "Hanging Wire" and "Describing Constraints" series, it has almost been used to the extreme. For example, the film "Fortress" may be the only form of expression that has not been used in opera (the film does not need the form of opera in its conception), but the characteristics of dance and zero dialogue almost run through the whole film (this is the most common technique of Barney in all films, and its purpose is to distinguish it from commercial films).





A glance at the exhibition hall scene of UCCA Bar Fortress special exhibition



In the whole exhibition, installation sculpture occupies a large proportion. Sculptures in the exhibition hall are all presented by casting and electroplating. The creative materials come from the dried roots and branches collected in the Sawtooth Mountains. These roots and trunks used for casting are very large in volume. Fortunately, the UCCA exhibition space has enough height and width. The copper sculpture cast from the ready-made products is very exquisite and exquisite in workmanship, and the shape of the huge tree roots and trunks will be re formed into objects such as guns (intended to make a theme).





Sculpture Works of UCCA Fortress Special Exhibition



More than 50 etched copper prints of different sizes were displayed on the wall, most of which were intentional landscape paintings. Barney presented his works in this way to show the artist's creative experience in multimedia and his ability to control interdisciplinary fields. In the film, animals, alchemy, heaven, earth, stars and all things are forcibly linked together. The arrangement of this narrative structure is equivalent to some tunes in the world music. Jazz, folk songs, rock, hip hop and other elements are presented in a diversified way (audio-visual can really bring a stunning visual enjoyment).





Still of Hanging Wire 1



In all his films, Barney can always copy the dance in a variety of plot structures with no difficulty. In addition, the magic mending Dao of European myths and legends makes people feel both abrupt and puzzling when they first watch it. For example, in the film, in the process of Borzoi, the sniper held his breath and aimed at the prey, kept silent for a moment and then fired decisively. What caught his eye was to slide the people in the tree down through the slow camera until they plunged into the snow (the whole sliding process was performed in the form of dance), and then cut the camera language to Barney's ongoing electroplating sketch plot (he played a bearded forest guard in the film), With the sound of the gunshot, the drawing board in the electroplating sketching process also exploded, and then it was the end of a wild wolf being killed on the rock in the distant jungle.





The stills of "Describing Constraints"



What is the whole series of editing language trying to tell? In fact, it expresses a very important concept in the field, that is, "situation", which is just like Nancy Spector, the curator of Guggenheim Art Museum, said in the preface of "Suspended Wire" that "the three parts of formal language needed in the birth process -" Situation, Condition and Production ". These three conditions are what Barney is best at.





A recent photo of Matthew Barney



He left all the audio-visual language to the audience to judge, just like the "4:33" by John Cage, the leader of the surf school in the late 1950s abroad, he never gave any exact answer (only in the field). If there is no note in the process of 4:33 seconds, just to reproduce the breathing and impatient sighs of the audience in the field, then the answer is too absurd! In fact, it is to present a kind of empty power, and the metaphysical point is the ethereal realm in the Zen philosophy. This is equivalent to Duchamp's Spring (1917) in the early years, and it is also the concept of "field" first. It is not suitable for far fetched semantic analysis. In fact, these works are all intended to create a process from "nothing - there - nothing", and also to open up a kind of imagination from impossible to possible. The reason why it is praised as a classic is nothing more than to prove that artists have opened an unprecedented new era in the development of art history.





Installation works exhibited in UCCA Fortress Special Exhibition



Matthew Barney's films are the same. In fact, what he wants is to open his own video multimedia era. There is no doubt that he has done so. He has made full use of the ubiquitous myths and legends and hysterical dance language to replace the narrative communication in the film. The narrative implication is greatly influenced by Nietzsche's philosophy (such as the opposition tendency between the Japanese and Dionysian spirits, the entanglement between temperance and madness, and the permanent confrontation between form and destruction), and everywhere reveals the obscure binary opposition.





"Fortress" stills



The narrative passage in Fortress has changed the usual symbolic language mode in the past (gorgeous and treacherous model dress, untimely behavior, heavy taste of greasy materials, charming women with heavy makeup, roaring luxury sports cars, horny porn maniac with greasy face, etc.), and has also removed the tragic and intense opera style in River of Rebirth! The plot has always been exploring the geographical environment, hunters, prey in the Sawtooth Mountains, and the relationship between the intricate tracks in the forest and the stars in the sky. The story of Borzoi is derived from Barney's ignorant memory in his childhood.





Matthew Barney's role in the film in the UCCA Fortress special exhibition



He recalled the conflict between farmers, hunters and environmentalists through a fierce debate (whether to release wolves to the wild). In Barney's eyes, the wolf belongs to an animal that is both loving and cruel, "Wolves are very strange. It's hard not to associate them with some kind of dog, but as soon as you get close to them, you can't feel their dog like characteristics. They approach you, just like an orangutan uses its fingers to interact with you with its nose. After confirming your position, they start to look at you up and down, and then move on. They have no interest in pleasing you." Barney said in an interview with ARTnews, a famous foreign art media.





The stills of UCCA Fortress special exhibition



The contradiction between the hunter and the wolf in the film does not have any political color. What is the reason for going to Borzoi? It starts from the fact that the wolves in the play robbed a farmer in the forest, and the farmers in the forest (the electroplating printmaking laboratory) were in a mess. One of the wolves even licked the liquid medicine (containing fashionable experimental containers) that was smashed on the ground as food. Then a total solar eclipse appeared in the sky, and the hunting goddess Diana and two attendants ("summoning maids" and "tracking maids") tracked the wild wolves in the forest through known astrological knowledge. Finally, the leader who killed the wolf by sniping declared the end of the film.





Sculpture works exhibited in UCCA Fortress Special Exhibition


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The reason why the film is called "Fortress" is a pun. While hunters protect themselves by sniping wild wolves, wild wolves also retaliate violently by robbing human homes. While hunters and wild wolves are competing for favor in front of nature, the total solar eclipse in the sky is meaningful - the omnipresent implication reflects a mysterious and obscure European philosophy.

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