Public Program:
A Proposition by Matthew Barney: Ancient Evenings Storyboards
May 21 2010
Matthew Barney’s proposition will consider his current project in development: Ancient Evenings. As part of this program, Barney will share the storyboards for the seven-act performance and video sequences from acts that have already been performed.

Ancient Evenings is a seven-act opera loosely based on Norman Mailer’s eponymous 1983 novel set in Egypt, and is currently in development by Barney and composer Jonathan Bepler. Each act of the opera chronicles one of the seven stages that the soul passes through after death of the body. Remaining true to the original theme of rebirth and reincarnation, Ancient Evenings recasts the central myth of Isis and Osiris in a contemporary industrial landscape, in which Barney has replaced the human body with the body of the 1967 Chrysler Imperial that was the central motif from his earlier film Cremaster 3.

The structure of Propositions is as follows:
Friday, 7PM: Initial proposition and lecture
Saturday, 12PM: Discussion with Dr. Michael K. Bartalos & Gabe Bartalos

Propositions is a public forum that explores ideas in development. Inspired by the scientific method of hypothesis, research, and synthesis, each two-day seminar explores a topic of current investigation in an invited speaker’s own artistic or intellectual practice. Over the course of a seminar session, these developing ideas are presented to the public, responded to, “researched,” and discussed to propel the ideas forward in unique ways.

New Museum curator
Courtesy the Artist and New Museum