Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler: River of Fundament

Morgan Quaintance experiences the filth of Matthew Barney's new film, London Coliseum, 29 and 30 June 2014

By Morgan Quaintance

Matthew Barney, still from River of Fundament, 2014. Photo: Hugo Glendinning 4 Matthew Barney, still from River of Fundament, 2014. Photo: Chris Winget 3 Matthew Barney, still from River of Fundament, 2014 (detail). Photo: David Regen 2 Matthew Barney, still from River of Fundament, 2014. Photo: Hugo Glendinning

Seconds in to River of Fundament (2014), the sprawling four and a half hour, operatic film adaptation of Norman Mailer’s scatological, Egyptian mythology epic Ancient Evenings, it’s clear Matthew Barney’s not pulling any punches. The ‘entered apprentice’ character from Cremaster 3 (2002), now reincarnated as Mailer’s daemon (no pun intended), emerges from a deep primordial soup of urine and faeces. Climbing stairs to an impressive replica of the author’s Manhattan home, he is sodomised by a cadaverous old man whose dripping semen turns…

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