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River of fundament

Matthew Barney: River of Fundament

A radical reinvention of Norman Mailer’s novel Ancient Evenings, this epic film is the latest work by world renowned art visionary Matthew Barney in collaboration with composer Jonathan Bepler – for which they developed part of the soundtrack at the Holland Festival in 2012.

River of fundament9

Barney and Bepler fuse narrative cinema, live performance, sculpture and opera, reconstructing Mailer”s hypersexual story of Egyptian gods and the seven stages of death alongside the rise and fall of the American car industry. Alluring, authentic and intense, this vast, multidimensional experience is interspersed with remarkable live performances filmed over six years.

Taking the American landscape as its backdrop, the film River of Fundament is an epic story of regeneration and rebirth, set in three major American cities – Los Angeles, Detroit, and New York. Loosely based on Norman Mailer”s 1983 novel Ancient Evenings, the film follows the death and reincarnation of two principal characters, who take the form of Norman Mailer and an anthropomorphic automobile.

A collaboration between visual artist Matthew Barney and Berlin-based American composer Jonathan Bepler, the film was conceived of as a contemporary opera that combines documentary footage of three live acts performed in outdoor environments in Los Angeles, Detroit, and New York, with live-action cinema, largely set in a careful recreation of Mailer”s Brooklyn brownstone apartment, where the late author”s wake is underway. (Text: Holland Festival)

Jonathan Bepler will be attending the show himself on June 23 and introduce the film in an interview with Ann Demeester, the director of the Frans Hals Museum.


River of fundament 01 c hugo glendinning 0
River of fundament 01 c hugo glendinning
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