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Matthew Barney, DJED, 2009-2011, Barbara Galdstone Gallery, New York
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by Jerry Saltz

A lot of people recently suffered for Matthew Barney’s art. Alas, I was not one of them, although I was supposed to be. A year ago October 1, my flight was canceled, so I missed KHU, a sprawling, multisited, outdoor, all-day performance Barney staged in Detroit at who knows what astronomical cost for a hand-picked audience of around 200. Detroit was the perfect setting for this tale of woe and reincarnation, an economic and spiritual city of the dead and would-be rebirth. It also rained apocalyptically that day, and Barney’s performance included a freezing barge ride down the Detroit River, where the audience witnessed, among other things, a crane dredging up a 1967 Chrysler Imperial.