If like Gothamist you were thrilled by Matthew Barney's Cremaster film cycle and its subsequent exhibition of stills, sculpture and clips at the Guggenheim, your wait for more of Barney's weird brilliance is over. For his newest project, Drawing Constraint 9, set aboard the whaling ship Nisshin Maru in Japan's Nagasaki Bay, he's paired up with the musician Björk who composed the score and also appears in the film with Barney.
Barney's major theme in the work is "the relationship between self-imposed resistance and creativity" and like in the Cremaster works, Barney again plays with Vaseline to illustrate it. This time, Barney constructs "The Field," a sculpture of goo molded, poured, bisected and reformed on the deck of the ship during the film. Barney and Björk play "the Guests," two passengers aboard the ship who dress in traditional garb for a Shinto wedding, perform in a tea ceremony and then nearly drown in a flood of Vaseline. Sounds like a completely average day, right?
For Björk fans, her work here is apparently similar to her involvement in Lars Von Trier's Dancer in the Dark and subsequent album, Selmasongs with an emphasis on Björk's voice as an added instrument. Also, because of the Japanese aesthetic, the soundtrack features music on the sho, one of Japan's oldest instruments.
The film opens this weekend and Barney will be on hand tonight at the 6:40 pm and 9:30 pm screenings at the IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue. (These special screenings will probably sell out, but it's also playing at 1:00 and 3:50 every day.) Tickets cost $10.75.