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He Does Use Jelly

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It took 45,000 (!) pounds of petroleum jelly and a full-size whaling vessel, but former fashion model, current hipper-than-hip artist and filmmaker Matthew Barney finally did it. You may ask what “it” is even after viewing his latest film, Drawing Restraint 9. The world of the artist is often a dense, hermetic one, and Barney’s body of work is grandly (some may say “excessively”) dense. In both his Cremaster film cycle and Drawing Restraint, symbol and metaphor take precedence over linear narrative. But what’s he getting at? The Alison Chernick-directed documentary Matthew Barney: No Restraint doesn’t quite answer that question -- the documentary focuses more on How Matthew Barney Makes It Happen and less on critical analysis of the finished work. But it does crack the windows a bit on who Barney is and how he goes about creating his world, which is fascinating even as it is confounding. Matthew Barney: No Restraint screens at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or www.slam.org). Admission is $3 to $5.
Fri., May 25

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