[April 11 2016]
In Fumes, Ari Marcopoulos takes an in-depth look into the studio process of American artist and filmmaker Matthew Barney. Shot over four years, Fumes depicts the activity within Barney’s Long Island City studio from 2011 to 2014. Marcopoulos avidly documented the day-to-day activity in the workspace, from the digging of an Egyptian death chamber, to the flooding during hurricane Irene, to the ongoing preparation for Barney’s 2014 film epic River of Fundament. The publication is comprised of black & white and full-color spreads showing workers transporting, molding, and fusing toxic materials—interwoven with an array of intricate pictorial montages.
“We began the excavation on a Friday. The Principal had spent the morning walking the floor, using some type of “third eye/brown eye” connection to center-in on where the void was to be cut. The Principal had his Raiders costume on, I remember this much. We’d already determined that a four-by-four-foot orifice would get us in deep enough to place a man into the past. We’d never done this successfully in any of our previous habitations, but here we were, once again, about to attempt yet another violation.
We marked the dimensions with black spray paint, and out came the hammer-drill. There was a distinct odor of the petrochemicals chasing out the instant the drill bit broke through the concrete. It was intoxicating. Air rushing from the moist warm hole, rich with swampy notes of rotting oil, machinery, and slave ships bearing the labor of a nation. I knew the Principal’s eyes had crossed, and a circuit was now beneath us.”
– Excerpt from The Barbed Wire Dream Catcher by Matthew D. Ryle.
Text Karma and photo Ari Marcopoulos