Matthew Barney

River of Fundament

Matthew Barney - River of Fundament

source: artsynet

Visionary artist Matthew Barney makes his BAM debut with the world premiere screening of River of Fundament, a radical reinvention of Norman Mailer’s novel Ancient Evenings. In collaboration with composer Jonathan Bepler, Barney combines traditional modes of narrative cinema with filmed elements of performance, sculpture, and opera, reconstructing Mailer’s hypersexual story of Egyptian gods and the seven stages of reincarnation, alongside references to the American car industry.

The film’s central scene is an abstraction of Mailer’s wake, set in a replica of the late author’s apartment in Brooklyn Heights and featuring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Paul Giamatti, Elaine Stritch, Ellen Burstyn, Joan La Barbara, and jazz percussionist Milford Graves. Alluring and intense, this epic, multidimensional experience is a sprawling allegory of death and rebirth within the contemporary American landscape.
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source: mifcouk

Throughout 2014 Manchester International Festival presents River of Fundament on a worldwide tour on behalf of the artists Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler.

We first worked with Matthew Barney back in 2007, our very first Festival, as part of Il Tempo Del Postino, a group show co-curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Philippe Parreno. Matthew joined a host of other world leading artists including Tino Sehgal, Olafur Eliasson, Doug Aitken, Tacita Dean and Trisha Donnelly to present world premieres of their work, not in a gallery, but live on stage at Manchester Opera House.

This was Matthew’s first examination of Norman Mailer’s Ancient Evenings which has subsequently developed into the much larger work River of Fundament, that we now have the privilege to represent.

Exclusive excerpts of the film were shown at MIF13, with a chance to hear Barney and Bepler discuss the project and their collaborative process. Now to be shown around the world, this epic film fuses narrative cinema, sculpture and opera, a multidimensional experience interspersed with remarkable live performances filmed over six years. Written and directed by Matthew Barney with music written and directed by Jonathan Bepler, River of Fundament features Maggie Gyllenhaal, Paul Giamatti, Elaine Stritch, Ellen Burstyn, Joan La Barbara, and jazz percussionist Milford Graves.