The Cremaster Cycle was more complex symbolically, dealing with gender, morphology, mythology, psychology.
By contrast, DR9 is rather simple. It develops a simple idea, under multiple approaches and various forms, the allegory of the muscle regeneration. The whaling tradition in Japan is only an excuse to illustrate this theory. Barney's commentary on the whaling controversy is minimal and the borrowing from Shinto traditions is incidental (yet pertinent to his concept), almost indifferent.
The artist is not an accurate historian and resorts to provocation using somebody else's social taboos. This performance functions like a surrealist collage, displacing objects from their usual place, or meanings from their usual subjects. Inversion of objects to cause confusion of senses, to generate a language free of ready-made prejudices. The action disguised with new clothes looks new and we can perceive it differently, where the essence devoid of sense takes precedence on the container. It's a simultaneous clash of concepts rather than an apparent linear history.
DR9 is not about what we see, but going beyond appearances, engages an abstract reflection on the creative condition of humanity. To create implies to destroy. Destruction implies starting over anew with a stronger base, a deeper experience.
Few notes on the directing concepts of the DR series from drawingrestraint.net :
- 1 - Hypertrophy : The Athlete is the alchemist
- 2 - The Athlete is the artist
- 3 - Houdini and the body intelligence, The artist is the athlete
- 4 - Formal Perversion and Autoerotica. Three phases of the Path : Situation, condition, production. The artist/Athlete is the masochist in the margin
The Path :
- Situation (mouth) :
Raw drive, undifferentiated sexual energy without discipline or direction. undifferentiated foetus sex organ. Hunger, indiscriminate consumption.
- Condition (stomach) :
visceral funnel. Condition disciplines the oral intake of Situation. Undifferentiated field of energy begins to take form. Condition functions like the stomach, systematically breaking down the bolus ingested by Situation, nourishing it and encouraging growth.
- Production (anus) :
Anal output of the path. Two-headed dumbbell (unit BOLUS). Potential to close the three-phase PATH, joining the mouth (Situation) with anus (Production), enabling a mediation on an endless loop between desire and discipline.
Resistance as a prerequisite for development and vehicle for creativity. Barney understands that when you work against resistance, muscular growth takes place in the body. The creation of obstacles that would make the act of drawing a physical challenge.
- DR1(1987) - artiste strapped to the thighs with an elastic band to restrain mobility during drawing
- DR2 (1988) - variation on DR1
meditation on the desire to make a mark, and the discipline imposed on that.
- DR3 (1988) - Weightlifter : Olympic barbell cast in petroleum wax/jelly. First piece in the series that rendered a character of refusal. Beginning of a more narrative approach to the DR project.
- DR4 (1988) - Blocking sled (trains the legs and the explosive strength of an athlete) and petroleum wax plates pushed through a corridor in attempt to draw a linear drawing on the floor.
- DR5 (1989) - Only piece in the series performed for an audience.
Ceramic skeet thrower making marks on the wall. Drawing on the wall around the marks strapped to an elastic band.
- DR6 (1989) - Self portrait drawn on the ceiling by jumping on a trampoline.
- DR7 (1993) - video
Render the character of refusal that emerged in DR3. Satyrs (ram & ewe) wrestle while attempting to draw a ram horn in the condensation of the moon roof with the tip of the ram's horn. Presumption punished by flaying.
- DR8 (2003)
Field emblem: "pill-shaped body with a superimposed rectilinear bar positioned over its central axis. The field represents self-imposed resistance placed upon an organic body."
Inversion of the proposal, the metaphorical bar was removed temporarily from the body, allowing for an eroticism that the system hadn't granted itself before. stored energy is sacrificed for eroticism and the body begins to atrophy.
- DR9 (2005) "begins with a procession at a Japanese oil refinery, where a tanker truck loaded with hot petroleum jelly is paraded from the factory gates down to the local harbour. The tanker is led by oxen, horses, deer, and a wild boar and is flanked by hundreds of Japanese revellers as it arrives abreast an enormous factory ship. The hot petroleum jelly has been delivered to the ship in port, where it is pumped into a massive, open mold on the aft deck. The ship departs for the Antarctic, and over weeks the mass of petroleum jelly cools. The cured surface of the jelly casting becomes a provocative reflection of the changing conditions of the seas. Whale processing methods and tools are used to facilitate the creation of this sculpture. The story culminates with the de-moulding of the sculpture as the ship reaches the Southern Ocean, with backdrop of luminous icebergs.The evolution of the petroleum jelly sculpture on the processing deck is mirrored by a love story which is unfolding on the second deck of the factory ship. The strict choreography of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony is the backdrop for a courtship of two western guests who are falling in love as they are served green tea by the ship's host. As the voyage ensues, the tea room itself becomes the tea bowl, as it slowly fills up with warm fluid. The western guests become enveloped in the fluid and undergo a mysterious transformation." (press notes from the website)
- DR10 (2005) - variation of DR6 - performed in Japan.
Additional marks added with a bamboo pole while climbing on a column. Drawing : visualization of the DR9 narrative, superimposed over the bodies of two whales.
- DR11 (2005) - climbing on three walls at the exhibition gallery (Japan) to draw the three phases of the PATH.
- DR12 (2005) - site specific performance in Seoul Korea.
climbing of the wall of the gallery while drawing the 3 phases of the PATH.
- DR13 (?) n/a
- DR14 (2006) - site specific performance at SFMoMA. Climbing and drawing dressed as General MacArthur.