Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
The stellar couple of the contemporary art world dumbfound the rest of us with some of the most bizarre rituals of courtship and consummation ever envisaged by man or beast. Artist Matthew Barney, creator of the Cremaster series, joins forces with wife Björk to mount this stately vision of elaborate, inexplicable public pageants, private fetishes and vast petroleum jelly artworks. Japan’s Nagasaki Bay is the breathtaking setting, superbly shot by a majestically panning camera. The two ‘Occidental guests’ meet aboard Nisshin Maru, the pride of Japan’s hi-tech whaling fleet and a gleaming affront to Western sensibilities. Watch as, through ceremonies of hair removal, tea sipping and ecstatic dismemberment, they harness the psychic power of whales and find oceanic bliss. Björk’s soundtrack is fashioned from orchestral and electronic textures, reed pipes and her own amazing voice.
“As a series of defined planes and sharply delineated objects – the ship, the Vaseline glob, the ocean, the whales – Drawing Restraint 9 conveys an intense sculptural loveliness.” — Andrew O’Hehir, salon.com