Drawing Restraint 9

Rated NR 135 minutes 2006

There's a fine line between artistic genius and pretentious wankery, and most cineastes will tell you that the films of Matthew Barney exist right around that line. Drawing Restraint 9 is part of a series of 12 artworks. Some of them involve Barney putting himself in some sort of harness or restraint system while trying to create a drawing (hence the title), but by the time he got around to part nine, that concept appears to have evolved into his favorite standby: petroleum jelly sculptures. In this case, large ones that slowly collapse like glaciers when removed from the mold, and become hellishly difficult to clean up after (clean-up being part and parcel of the artistic experience of the piece). Imagining that the crew of a whaling ship might have to deal with analogous experiences led to the inspiration for the movie, in which Barney and girlfriend Björk journey to a whaling vessel and go through an elaborate courtship ritual. The overall experience is akin to that of a voyeur at the wedding of two aliens.

Film Credits

Director: Matthew Barney

Writer: Matthew Barney

Cast: Matthew Barney, Björk, Mayumi Miyata, Shiro Nomura and Tomoyuki Ogawa


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