I need to go lie down

A few years ago, the Guggenheim staged an exhibition of Matthew Barney's "Cremaster" cycle. Barney, a well-known contemporary artist (and you have no idea how hard I'm trying to resist putting scare quotes around that word), transformed the iconic museum into an extravaganza of assorted fetishes, large-scale installations, and big screens that played the different films in the five-movie cycle on a continuous loop. It was big. It was garish. It was outre. It was stupid.

I went twice. You don't get many chances to see a such an epic con first-hand. That Barney managed to get the Guggenheim to pay for an exhibition that Freud would have dismissed as "too weird," and which was so patently devoid of actual meaning, is a testament to the vacuum that exists at the heart of the contemporary art world. I left with a grudging admiration for the man who dressed up as (among other things) a dancing red-headed goat creature on the Guggenheim's dime.

I had wondered what Barney had gotten himself up to lately. He and fellow pop culture lunatic Bjork made a movie together (and may or may not be in relationship with each other), but there haven't been any more grandiose artistic emissions named for parts of the male reproductive system. Sad, really.

But now I see what he's been up to. Clearly, he's gotten a sex change, and is now calling himself Lady Gaga.


  1. Say what you want about Lady GaGa's, umm, extravagant costumes, but she's got vocal chops, and she is a talented musician. Just look at her Poker Face piano video. She's also adept at attracting the spotlight.

    Far warning, I haven't seen her latest videos. She may have plunged over the edge she was skating on.

  2. Matthew Barney fascinates me. I don't get it, but who cares?

  3. Ugh, was that the exhibition I saw? Actually, no, I don't think so, but the disgusting display I saw was enough to put me off the Guggenheim forever. And the museum itself it ugly, IMO.


  4. Why, Barbara! How on earth would I know what exhibition you saw? If I were to know that the exhibition you saw at the Guggenheim was of Robert Mapplethorpe photography, and not Matthew Barney, that would imply that I knew you personally. People might even think we were related, and that you were not simply a fan from the vast blog-reading public. And we can't have that.

    But it was Robert Mapplethorpe, for the record, of whom I am no great fan, either.