7/3 2008 — 8/6 2008
Museumsquartier / Halle2

?I first understood abstraction, on a basic level, on the football field.?

Matthew Barney

Matthew Barney: DRAWING RESTRAINT is an exhibition by Kunsthalle Wien and Serpentine Gallery, London.

In DRAWING RESTRAINT, Matthew Barney, like the legendary escape artist Houdini and the US football star Jim Otto, struggles against the resistance of constructed and natural boundaries of the human body. Like the magician and the competitive sportsman, Barney relies on the physical dynamics continuously oscillating between self-control and energetic impetus. For the artist, who was a sportsman and model himself, the genesis of the artwork is based on overcoming one?s self-imposed boundaries. He uses gymnastics, climbing, and weight-lifting as performative subjects, turns into a fantastic kid satyr, or boards a Japanese whaler as an ?occidental guest? to unite with his love ? Björk. This location of a mythical parallel world distilled from cultural-historical elements of Japanese Shinto, Western performance-oriented thinking, and industrial aesthetics sees the reinvention of the Moby Dick story culminating in an ?erotic communion?, in which the lovers are transformed into whales and enter a state of oceanic being.
With DRAWING RESTRAINT, Matthew Barney, who regards himself as a sculptor, extends the notion of sculpture to include almost every visual medium and combines performance, video, photography, installation, film, and drawing to a fascinating total work of art.

Born in San Francisco in 1967, Matthew Barney is one of the shooting stars of the American art scene and has become internationally acclaimed for his Cremaster Cycle. He lives and works in New York.

Curator: Gerald Matt

Guided tours: every Sunday 4 pm