Beyond the Frame
"I have never been much of a painter" - Christian Marclay
Christian Marclay, The Clock, 2010.











"In Modernist Painting, Clement Greenberg argued that the authentic, self-reflexive - or as he called it, 'self-critic' - avant-garde artist is the one who tests the work of art against the logic of its own specific conditions, and who acknowledges the tradition of his medium by referring to its history, at least implicitly.'" - Art Since 1900
Clement Greenberg looking at a Kenneth Noland painting











"By the seventies, however, three developments seemed to have consigned this view of the modernist avant-garde and medium-specificity to the junk-heap of history: the 'dematerialization' of the aesthetic object; the advent of conceptualism; and the ascendency of Duchamp over Picasso as the century's most important artist." - Art Since 1900
Ai Wei Wei, Forever Bicycles, 2003.











"Being an artist now means to question the nature of art. If one is questioning the nature of painting, one cannot be questioning the nature of art. If an artist accepts painting (or sculpture), he is accepting the tradition that goes with it. That's because if you make paintings you are already accepting (not questioning) the nature of art." - Joseph Kosuth in Art Since 1900
Joseph Kosuth, One and Three Chairs, 1965.











Gordon Matta Clark, Splitting, 1974.












Gordon Matta Clark, Conical Intersect, 1975.











Michael Asher installation at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, 2008.
Reconstituted temporary walls built for the 44 exhibitions that the museum mounted
since the museum moved to its Bergamot Station location in 1998.











"Installation art, the mixed-media presentation of tableaux inside museums and galleries, with its disdain for the specific medium , may be interpreted as the contemporary heir to the attack on medium-specificity mounted by the dematerialization of the art object, conceptualism, and Duchamp. As such, it is the herald of what we name the 'postmedium condition'." - Art Since 1900
Ai Wei Wei, Forever Bicycles, 2011.












Christian Marclay, Telephone, 1995.











Carstan Holler, Giant Psycho Tank, 1999.











Giant Psycho Tank in use











Carsten Holler, Upside Down Mushroom Room, 2000.























Cremaster Cycle 1994 - 2002
culminating in a major museum exhibition organized by Nancy Spector of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, which traveled to the Museum Ludwig in Cologne and the Musée d'art Moderne in Paris from 2002 - 2003
Matthew Barney as The Entered Apprentice, 2011.











"Biological, social and mythological foundations of selfhood intersect and reflect one another." - David Joselit
Matthew Barney as the Loughton Candidate, Cremaster 4, 1994.











Cremaster = the muscle that controls the contraction and relaxation of the testes in response to different physical or psychological stimuli like increased temperature or fear


Refers to the Cycle's consideration of early gonad development of the fetus when gender has not been externally determined, a moment of pure potential for Barney
In the first several weeks of life, the fetus has no anatomical or hormonal sex (sex can only be determined by genes)
10th week - external genitalia begins to differentiate
15th week - first spermatognia and ovarian follicles form
28th week - testes descend out of the body cavity
cremaster muscle depicted in red











Just to add an air of mystique (a.k.a. confusion) to the project, the narrative was not made in sequential order
Cremaster 4
Cremaster 1
(the most ascended or undifferentiated state)
Cremaster 5
(the most descended or differentiated state)
Cremaster 2
Cremaster 3












Cremaster 1
Setting: state of equilibrium imagined as a musical revue performed by the Rockettes on the blue Astroturf Bronco stadium in Barney's hometown, Boise, Idaho.
Characters: two Goodyear blimps, air hostesses, Goodyear.
Synopsis: Goodyear plays with grapes in each blimp, forming them into a recurring symbol of cell division





















Cremaster 2
Setting: conflict is introduced into the system and the system resists partition.
Characters: Gary Gilmore, Johnny Cash, Harry Houdini, Baby Fae La Foe, the Rocky Mountains
Synopsis: Gary Gilmore kills a Mormon gas station attendant in the quest to reunite with his girlfriend, Nicole Baker. Tried and convicted, Johnny Cash covered in bees calls Gilmore before his execution while death metal drums beat in the background. Gilmore's execution is represented as a prison rodeo with the landscape standing witness.





















Cremaster 3
Setting: a contest of states is represented by the construction of the Chrysler building which is host to internal struggle between the Architect and the Apprentice. The Apprentice will resolve the conflict in a game set at the Gugenheim Museum.
Characters: Chrysler Building, Hiram Abiff (Solomon's Temple), The Entered Apprentice, undead Gary Gilmore, Chrysler Imperials,
Synopsis: Set in New York City and narrates the construction of the Chrysler Building, which is in itself a character - host to inner, antagonistic forces at play for access to the process of (spiritual) transcendence. These factions find form in the struggle between Hiram Abiff or the Architect (played by Richard Serra), and the Entered Apprentice (played by Barney), who are both working on the building. They are reenacting the Masonic myth of Hiram Abiff, purported architect of Solomon's Temple, who possessed knowledge of the mysteries of the universe. The murder and resurrection of Abiff are reenacted during Masonic initiation rites as the culmination of a three-part process through which a candidate progresses from the first degree of Entered Apprenticeship to the third of Master Mason.





















Cremaster 4
Setting: descenscion begins on the Isle of Man
Characters: Ascending Hack, Descending Hack, Loughton Ram, Faeries
Synopsis: a motorcycle race along the perimeter of the Isle of Man is prepared for, and ensues, while the Loughton Candidate tap dances through the floor and into a gelatinous tunnel that leads him to the sea. Meanwhile, ambiguously gendered Faeries picnic.





















Cremaster 5
Setting: total descenscion imagined as tragic love story set in the Budapest opera house and environs
Characters: The Queen of Chain, Fudor Sprites, Harry Houdini
Synopsis: as the Queen sings, her mind wanders into reflection of Her Magician as he prepares to jump from a snow covered bridge into the waters of the Danube, chained as he seeks transcendence.





















Kate Millet Sexual Politics
Why We Need Sexual Politics
Joan Diddion's review of Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song
Wooster Group's, The Town Hall Affair
Alice Neel, Kate Millett, 1970.











Cremaster 3 dvd in exhibition case
Each film in The Cremaster Cycle released in an edition of ten.
In 2007, Cremaster 2 sold for $571,000 at the Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale.