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Matthew Barney
Cremaster 5: her giant
1997



Michael Jackson


Joe Millionaire
Matthew, Michael and Millionaire: A Three-Way
by Charlie Finch


While entering the Guggenheim Museum, we spied a young urchin who lifted what appeared to be a snowball and conked us in the head, knocking us out. It later proved to be a ball of frozen Vaseline.

We awoke in a marble sanctum sanctorum -- the executive john of Guggenheim director Thomas Krens. Through a convenient keyhole, we could peer, and hear, at Krens' office. Seated there, alone together, in intimate conversation were Matthew Barney, Michael Jackson and Joe Millionaire.

Michael: That Björk, she's so elfin, so gamine, so flat. . . just like a young boy.

Matthew: That's why I married her.

Michael: And I got stuck with Lisa Marie.

Millionaire: I thought she married Tim Burton.

Matthew: That's Tina Marie -- funny when I was masturbating back in Idaho I called my thing "Tina Marie," and then I asked myself, "What is this thing, anyway? Can I really differentiate it from other people's things?"

Michael: Especially one so young and underdeveloped.

Millionaire: Then what's this in my pants?

Voice of Thoms Krens: Come on, millionaires, I'm monitoring you from the Peter Lewis Theater: Let's talk gelt.

Matthew: So then I discovered that all sex organs are the same at birth, except for the anus, of course.

Michael: I've never actually been able to get one at birth, too many hospital personnel around.

Millionaire: I think I've got an anus, but I can't see it in the mirror.

Michael: You're the man in the mirror, Millionaire, and Matthew's the mirror of man.

Matthew: I think you should give that song to Bjrk.

Michael: Don't you call her the Queen of Chain?

Matthew: That was Halle Berry.

Just then the bathroom door rustled, and we ducked behind the shower curtain to conceal ourselves. It was Joe Millionaire riffling through Thomas Krens' medicine cabinet.

Millionaire: All that's here is Vaseline. . . Hmmm, I could use a few jars, actually.

Millionaire returned to the office and closed the door, and we resumed our station.

Millionaire: Look what I found, boys, grease, better than the Chiquitas.

Matthew: Those are signed and numbered, Joe, at 50 grand a pop.

Michael: Put me down for ten.

Millionaire: It can't hurt to unscrew just one.

Voice of Thomas Krens: Put down the Vaseline!

At this point Guggenheim security, and curators Nancy Spector and Lisa Dennison burst into the room. They screamed in unison: "Credit cards only, and 50 jars get you on the board."

Millionaire: Sick of champagne in Paris and sick of Vaseline in New York.

Michael: I'll take five cases.

Matthew: Only if you can smear it on me first, and how'd you like to play Billie Holliday in Cremaster XXXVI.

Michael: I'd much rather be with the boys.

Millionaire: Could Thomas Krens cash this check?

Then with visions of Kandinsky popping in our head, we awoke. . . in Las Vegas, where no Guggenheim could be found, and the M+M+M boys were definitely not around, and we were out of Vaseline.


CHARLIE FINCH is coauthor of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).

 
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