Regen Projects 

633 N. Almont Drive

Los Angeles, CA  90069

Tel. (310) 276-5424

Fax. (310) 276-7430



Los Angeles, CA

May 18, 2008


Regen Projects is pleased to announce a live performance, titled REN, a collaboration by New York based artist Matthew Barney and Berlin based composer Jonathan Bepler. This performance is the first in an ongoing series of performances, which will take place in different locations around the world over the next several years.


REN is a loose interpretation of Norman Mailer’s 1983 novel Ancient Evenings, and will include passages from the novel, which are abstracted as libretto and chorus. The performances will address the first chapter of the novel, “The Book of One Man Dying”, chronicling the departing of the seven stages of the soul in the Egyptian necropolis: Ren, Sekhem, Khu, Ba, Ka, Khabit and Sekhu.


REN will be approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours in duration and will take place at a car dealership outside of Los Angeles. The performance will be a one-time only, live event.


“Ren” represents the first stage of the soul in its journey through the afterlife in which its “Secret Name” is revealed, and subsequently lost.  This first act in the Ancient Evenings project will reference the Cremaster Cycle, linking Barney and Bepler’s earlier project to the iconography and mythology of ancient Egypt. REN will feature the return of the 1967 Chrysler Imperial from Cremaster 3, a Southern California drum and bugle corps, ranchera singer Lila Downs, and British performance artist Mouse.


Visual artist Matthew Barney and composer Jonathan Bepler have been collaborating since 1995 and are best known for the Cremaster Cycle, a large scale project which was made over 8 years and exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2003 to great critical acclaim and controversy. Cremaster has achieved worldwide distribution in the worlds of art, film and music. With a strong belief in the spirit of collaboration, Barney and Bepler have worked with a broad range of talents in the past including Norman Mailer, actress Ursula Andress, performance artist Marti Domination, singer-songwriter Patty Griffin, thrash metal drummer Dave Lombardo, the Budapest Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra, hardcore bands Agnostic Front and Murphy’s Law, the Radio City Rockettes, and actress Aimee Mullins.


Matthew Barney was born in 1967 in San Francisco and studied at Yale University.  He has been included in group exhibitions such as Documenta IX in Kassel, Germany and the 1993 and 1995 Whitney Biennials.  His solo exhibition The Cremaster Cycle, organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, traveled to the Museum Ludwig, Cologne and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.  Barney has received numerous awards including the Aperto prize at the 1993 Venice Biennale and the Hugo Boss award in 1996, most recently he was the recipient of the Kaiser Ring Award in Goslar, Germany.  His DRAWING RESTRAINT exhibition was recently on view at the Serpentine Gallery in London where it traveled to the Kunsthalle Vienna in March 2008.


Jonathan Bepler has collaborated often with choreographers, including John Jasperse (California), Sasha Waltz (S, Gezeiten), Jennifer Lacey (This is an Epic, Mhmmm), and others. A multi-instrumentalist, he has led ensembles of both improvised and pre-composed music and has appeared often in NY and in Europe. His concert music includes a 2006 commission for the Ensemble Modern (45 musicians and singers), a work for the Glenn Branca Ensemble (12 electric guitars and percussion). His Multi-Channel sound installation for Broken Ensemble was recently shown at Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati.  Last years score for The Rape of the Sabine Women, a project done in Greece with Eve Sussman, includes 600 voices in the Herodeon theater at the Acropolis, a cliff side Bouzouki ensemble, and a piece for butchers, knives and meat.


The performance will take place on May 18, 2008 at sunset.  For further information please contact Jennifer Loh or Stacy Bengtson at (310) 276-5424.