I just can't bring myself to appreciate the highly rated Barney-imagination. What is all the fuzz about the greatness of free association? Remember once Terry Eagleton made a good association between the marvelous work of human imagination and serial killers. If human endeavors can be judged on the bases of wild imagination, probably the fantasy scenarios weaved together by serial killer, or even better, by fascism should come on top. Somewhere Barney said “things will only work in the system I created”. See! Is this not what you hear from the confession of all the creative demons? After all, even the materials appropriated by the Nazi and Matthew Barney in their little game of fantasy are not that different: biology, history, mythology, folklore. So what is so great about Barney's art? It is just that Barney's art is emptier, harmless, less provocative and engaging, more superficial and full of nonsense.
I don't know... I just don't like what he does
I don't think anyone thinks MB is any more wildly Imaginative than anyone else - at least not anyone who actually uses their imagination.
But I think there is the idea that most people's imaginations come up with predictable and pedestrian fantasies - where MB stuck stuff up his junk and whatnot - interesting enough, until you realize the cosmology isn't that deep.
I wouldn't use Nazis as an example - they weren't particularly imaginative, and though many people rely on theatrics, the Nazis didn't invent parades or fire festivals.
In the same way, MB didn't invent saturated color, crazy cosmologies (I mean look at Lost, Umberto Ecco's “Foucault's Pendulum” or any of a number of ranters online who know all about the aliens, the illuminati or the lineage of the Habpsburgs.
In fact I think MB is more populist, with the gay/fashion thing - somting that appeals and repulses. I mean i don't like his esthetic either, but anti-esthetic is a move, and in art sometimes that is all you need - room.
Sorry, but the ideas in this article are old and outdated. We need a new fresh look into Barney's films and their relationship to cinema theaters for once. Slamming Barney for not releasing the Cremaster cycle on DVD is ridiculous; who would want to see the cycle on DVD (small TV monitor) anyway? Save that for your Troll 2 DVD.
The cycle will be showing at the Nuart in LA soon, I saw them there many years ago, and the house was packed; it will be the same this year.
There's a Troll 2 DVD?