Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Matthew Barney, Belated Valentine's, and Bronchitis

To commemorate this past Valentine's Day celebrations with the filmmaker, I had bought tickets for the global premiere of the latest marathon art-film work by Matthew Barney, River of Fundament at the Brooklyn Academy of Music theater. Spending the stereotypically commercial and contrived evening enduring about six hours of visual commentary on the legacy, or lack thereof, of Norman Mailer and the tension between contemporary American culture and mythology, vis- à-vis the text Ancient Evenings and an elaborately staged wake, and resplendent with copious excrement and automobile scenes, seemed rather appropriate. Alas, my dutiful planning was foiled; the filmmaker stayed at home, ensnared by bronchitis. So, I experienced the work alone, viscerally eviscerated, sipping gin and tonic cocktails through a plastic theater-proof, adult sippy cup. While not a romantic evening, it was certainly stimulating.

So, after the filmmaker recovered from his plague and I returned from my brief jaunt in Providence, we decided to have a brick-oven pizza and red wine date at one of our favorite local haunts. Just before dinner, the filmmaker surprised me with a spread of small gifts: a trio of kitschy cowboy boot shot glasses and some earrings, including this rather unique and exquisite pair, some mementos from his trip up north to New Hampshire. I adore the sharp contrast of the milky gray stone, cold and opalescent and pristine, with the sculpted brass, printed with soft ferns, warm and raw. The blend of materials, the almost painted blue shading, remind me of something archaic, something noble and medieval. Bits of jeweled finery that could have framed the face of some young duchess, sent to a neighboring kingdom to lure a landed husband. They are quite unlike any other pair of earrings I own, which I will be the first to admit is quite the feat, given my costume addiction. The filmmaker can be a bit anxious picking out jewelry for me, deliberating over what he supposes I would choose for myself, and I can vehemently proclaim these were an exceptional find.  

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