Museum InfoMedia Room

DIA interior
DIA interior

Matthew Barney to Speak at Detroit Institute of Arts for Inaugural Reva Taubman

Friday, December 18, 2009

Stocker Memorial Lecture
Famed artist/filmmaker to speak about recent projects

December 18, 2009 (Detroit)—Matthew Barney, renowned for his epic Cremaster Cycle, will give a talk at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) on Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. in the DIA auditorium. The event is free, but a “free pass,” which can be obtained at, must be presented at the door.

Since his classic Cremaster Cycle, Barney has completed sculpture and film works including Drawing Restraint 9, De Lama Lamina, and Ren. For the Reva Taubman Stocker Memorial Lecture, Barney will discuss his recent activities including Khu, a Detroit-based chapter of his newest project, an opera in seven acts loosely based on Norman Mailer’s 1983 novel, Ancient Evenings. Barney is collaborating with composer Johnathan Bepler on the project.

Ren, the first chapter, was performed in Los Angeles in 2007. Barney updates Mailer’s plot from an ancient Egyptian narrative to a present day account of reincarnation and rebirth set in an American landscape. The seven chapters of this tale will take place in seven cities and correspond to the seven stages of the soul’s departure from the body according to Egyptian mythology. Barney’s retelling replaces the body of a man with the remains of a car featured in Cremaster 3.

Barney, born in 1967 in San Francisco, lives and works in New York. He has been included in group exhibitions such as Documenta IX, the 1993 and 1995 Whitney Biennial and the 1993 and 2003 Venice Biennale. His one-person exhibition, The Cremaster Cycle, and a retrospective of the Drawing Restraint series travelled internationally. Barney has received numerous awards, including the Aperto prize at the 1993 Venice Biennale, the Hugo Boss award in 1996, and the 2007 Kaiser Ring Award in Goslar, Germany.

The lecture is sponsored by the Reva Taubman Stocker Endowment fund, which she generously created for lectures in contemporary art. As a leading patron of educational efforts with a keen interest in the visual arts, Stocker’s gift allows the DIA to present lectures by leading thinkers and practitioners in contemporary art.


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.

Programs are made possible with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the City of Detroit.

Contact: Pamela Marcil 313-833-7899