HAPPY PORTRAIT MONDAY!
Cremaster 4: The Loughton Candiate, 1994
colour photograph in cast plastic frame
19.5" x 17.6" x 1"
If you've been following along, this isn't the first time we have featured Matthew Barney on the blog. The Loughton Candidate, like The Occidental Guest, is a portrait of a character that features prominently in one of Barney's wide-spanning projects. The film-based Cremaster 4, which is set on the Isle of Man, incorporates both existing and fictionalized folklore, wildlife, and rituals in a exploration of gender, biology, and identity. The Loughton Candidate itself is an androgynous entity whose fate is determined by a motorcycle race around the island -- the victory of one team over the other ultimately dictates the gender that the Loughton Candidate will come to embody.
As with all Barney's works, the film is loaded with symbolism and constructed in a disorienting, circular manner. It is part of the greater Cremaster Cycle project -- described by curator Nancy Spector as a "self-enclosed aesthetic system" which was made over a period of eight years and ultimately displayed at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.