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Art celeb Matthew Barney stages "Crazy, sexy" performance in Detroit

About 200 art world notables came from galleries in New York and museums in L.A. to Detroit to witness and participate in "Khu," part two of Matthew Barney's epic multi-location staged performance, Ancient Evenings.

The day-long adventure included an aria performed at an abandoned glue factory on the Rouge River, a trip on a barge in the rain, tugboats carrying a brass section, a helicopter buzzing -- with the audience having the peculiar experience of being extras in the production. The grand finale? Witnessing molten steel erupting from another abandoned plant.


Barney's opera, as Hart called it, is based on Norman Mailer's s nearly unreadable and sometimes obscene 1983 novel of the same name, which involves ancient Egyptian burial practices and the gods Isis and Osiris. In Barney and Bepler's telling, "Khu" is a crime story featuring the double-amputee athlete Aimee Mullins as an FBI gumshoe named Isis and a 1967 Chrysler Crown Imperial as Osiris.

The artist was nowhere in sight -- he was directing from a trailer behind two Port-O-Sans -- but Björk was there, huddled against the increasing chill in a sleeping-bag coat, the only one aboard dressed for the weather. "I'm from Iceland," she shrugged.

See the pictures and read more about "Khu" here.

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