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Matthew Barney «Cremaster 4» | Valve (Ausschnitt)
Matthew Barney, «Cremaster 4», 1994
Valve (Ausschnitt) | Photography | Photograph: Peter Strietmann | © Matthew Barney


Categories: Film

Keywords: Body | Poetry

United States

 Matthew Barney
«Cremaster 4»

«CREMASTER 4» (1994), the first of the cycle's installments to be completed, adheres most closely to the project's biological model. This penultimate episode describes the system's onward rush toward descension despite its resistance to division. The logo for this chapter is the Manx triskelion--three identical armored legs revolving around a central axis. Set on the Isle of Man, the film absorbs the island's folklore as well as its more recent incarnation as host to the Tourist Trophy motorcycle race. Myth and machine combine to narrate a story of candidacy, which involves a trial of the will articulated by a series of passages and transformations. The film comprises three main character zones. The Loughton Candidate (played by Barney) is a satyr in an Edwardian suit. He has two sets of impacted sockets in his head-four nascent horns, which will eventually grow into those of the mature, Loughton Ram, an ancient breed native to the island. Its horns--two arcing upward, two down--form a diagram that proposes a condition of undifferentiation, with ascension and descension coexisting in equilibrium. The second and third character zones comprise a pair of motorcycle sidecar teams: the Ascending and Descending Hacks. These primary characters are attended to by a trio of fairies who mirror the three narrative fields occupied by the Candidate and the two racing teams. Having no volition of their own, these creatures metamorphose in accordance with whatever field they occupy at any given time.

(source: Matthew Barney, The Cremaster Cycle, Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2002 Ostfildern-Ruit)