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Mathew Barney at Detroit Institute of Arts to premiere River of Fundament - Barney’s latest movie, pre- and post- screening events with the artist on June 1

Monday, May 19, 2014

Contact: Pamela Marcil 313-833-7899 
(Detroit)—Filmmaker Mathew Barney returns to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) on Sunday, June 1, for an exclusive screening of his newest work, River of Fundament, at the DIA’s Detroit Film Theatre, and a pre-movie brunch and post-movie afterglow. The almost-six-hour movie runs from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. (with two intermissions).

River of Fundament is a radical reinvention of Norman Mailer’s novel Ancient Evenings. In collaboration with composer Jonathan Bepler, Barney combines traditional modes of narrative cinema with filmed elements of performance, sculpture, and opera, reconstructing Mailer’s hypersexual story of Egyptian gods and the seven stages of reincarnation, alongside the rise and fall of the American car industry.

ACT 2 is principally filmed in Detroit—in Delray, on the Belle Isle Bridge, on the Rouge and Detroit Rivers, and at the landing for McLouth Steel in Trenton. More than 200 members of the local music and art scene contributed to this magnum opus. 

During his visit Barney will “Sign the Beam” at the Scarab Club (on John R street across from the DIA) during a patron brunch. He will join legions of arts luminaries including Diego Rivera, Marcel Duchamp, Isamu Noguchi, Marshall Fredericks, and Tyree Guyton. Barney will be joined by Detroit-based cast and crew for the screening and celebrate with them at a ticketed afterglow in the DIA’s Rivera Court. 

The day’s schedule is:
11 a.m. Brunch with the artist and beam-signing at Scarab Club 
12:30 p.m. River of Fundament, Detroit Film Theatre
6:30 p.m. Afterglow with cast and crew in the DIA’s Rivera Court

Ticket range from $20 to $150, and include complimentary parking. Tickets for the brunch and afterglow are limited.  To purchase, call 313-833-4005 or go to

The film premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in February and has since been exhibited in Munich, Adelaide, Vienna, and Reykjavik. 

River of Fundament, produced by Matthew Barney and Laurenz Foundation, is presented worldwide on behalf of the artists by Manchester International Festival. This event is sponsored by Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art in partnership with College for Creative Studies and the Scarab Club.


The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.

Programs are made possible with support from residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.