Exhibition Opening

From HappenArt

Matthew Barney: Secondary

Matthew Barney: Secondary

Matthew Barney: Secondary
Fondation Cartier – Jun 08 to Sep 08, 2024 Paris (France)


The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain presents Matthew Barney’s first institutional exhibition in France for over 10 years. Visitors will discover the American artist’s latest video installation, SECONDARY, alongside new works created especially for the occasion. To accompany the exhibition, the Fondation Cartier will also program a series of unique events and performances.


Filmed in Matthew Barney’s sculpture studio in Long Island City, New York, US, where it was shown for the first time in spring 2023, SECONDARY is a five- channel video installation set within the context of an American football field. For sixty minutes, eleven performers — mainly dancers and movement artists with older bodies, including the artist — abstract the action that takes place on the field.

Professional football game

The plot of SECONDARY revolves around the memory of an accident that occurred during a professional football game on August 12, 1978, where Jack Tatum, a defensive back for the Oakland Raiders, delivered an open field hit on Darryl Stingley, a wide receiver for the New England Patriots. Stingley was left paralyzed. Rebroadcast over and over in sports media, this tragic event would remain seared in the minds of football fans and the young Barney, himself a youth league quarterback at the time.

Real violence.

This new work demonstrates the complex superposition of real violence and its representation — as well as celebration — through sports entertainment. It examines the game and affiliated culture through a unique movement vocabulary developed collaboratively with the cast of performers, including movement director David Thomson, and Barney. The result is a highly physical, bodily study that focuses on every element of the game: training drills, pre-game rituals, moments of impact, and slow-motion replays.

Fondation Cartier.

The SECONDARY exhibition takes place across the Fondation Cartier. In the gallery adjacent to SECONDARY is a new ceramic sculpture that takes the form of a power rack — equipment designed for weightlifting. The work takes on a figurative presence in the installation. It evokes the material- based choreography in SECONDARY, in which metal, ceramic, and plastic are formed and manipulated by the performers in real time. These materials speak to qualities of strength, elasticity, fragility, and memory, and each, in its own way, embodies a character.

Art school.

In addition, the exhibition will include some of the earliest DRAWING RESTRAINT video works which Barney began in 1987 while he was still in art school. Inspired by the idea of resistance training, he applied restraints to his body while drawing, exhibiting the resulting drawings, videos, and the related apparatus often as site-specific installations. The DRAWING RESTRAINT series initiated Barney’s explorations of the relationship between resistance and creativity, as well as bodily limits. It is the earliest work made by the artist and laid the groundwork for SECONDARY.


On the occasion of the exhibition, Barney will create the newest video in the series, DRAWING RESTRAINT 27, which he will film in the galleries of the Fondation Cartier. The in-situ performance will be realized by Raphael Xavier, in the role of Oakland Raiders football player Jack Tatum. It will be filmed and broadcast throughout the exhibition spaces.



Matthew Barney: Secondary

Matthew Barney: Secondary

Fondation Cartier→  261, Boulevard Raspail 14e – Paris, France 75014







Current Exhibit

Current exhibit