Cremaster Fanatic

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Cremaster Cycle?

The Cremaster Cycle is a series of five filmsproduced by artist Matthew Barney between 1994 and 2002. For those new to the Cremaster Cycle, I highly recommend the official web site:

What is a cremaster?

The cremaster is a muscle that raises and lowers the testicles. Matthew Barney uses the descension of the cremaser muscle as a metaphor for the appearance of male sexuality.

Where can I see the films?

Matthew Barney's films are screened periodically around the world. You won’t see them at the local megaplex -- they are usually shown at museums, art galleries, or movie theaters that show independent films. has a list of upcoming screenings for each film. You may be able to find clips of Barney's films on YouTube or download them from the darker corners of the internet (and bootleg DVDs occaisionally appear on ebay). However, Barney has been protective of his copyrights and unauthorized copies are usually quickly removed from the internet.

Where can I buy the Matthew Barney's films on video?

Matthew Barney's films are not available on video -- at least not unless you’re a wealthy art collector. Each film in The Cremaster Cycle was released in an edition of ten in lavish sculptural packaging and individually signed and numbered by Barney (see image below). In 2007, Cremaster 2 sold for $571,000 at the Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale.

There are rumors of a Cremaster Cycle boxed set being released by Palm Pictures (and a "preview" of the box set, apparently a hoax, was posted on YouTube) but as far as we know there are no plans for a general release of any of the Cremaster films. There is a DVD available of the “Order” sequence from Cremaster 3, but this is not the entire film. You can find the Order DVD at and other large retailers. From time to time, bootleg versions of Barney's videos surface, although he and gallerist/producer Barbara Gladstone have been quick to stop these unauthorized versions (see coments). "Hoist", a short film by Barney related to De Lama Lamina, was released on the Destricted DVD.

I’ve heard Matthew Barney’s work described as “film” and as “video” -- which is correct?

The Cremaster Cycle was all shot on video, but the footage is transferred to 35mm film stock for projection. Cremaster 4 was shot on BETA SP, Cremaster 1 and 5 were shot on Digital BetaCam, Cremaster 2 was shot on HDTV, and Cremaster 3 was shot on 24P HDTV, a format that records video at 24 frames per second, the same speed that film is shot and projected.

What is the “field emblem”?

The field emblem -- a capsule bisected by a horizontal line -- appears in many of Matthew Barney's films. Because of its symmetry, it is used as a symbol for a state of equilibrium. At times, a “half field emblem” appears, representing a state where one option has gained dominance. The field emblem can also be read as a symbol of an orifice in both its open (the capsule) and closed (the line) states.

Do you know where I can get a bootleg copy of the Cremaster films?

No. Please don’t ask -- requests will not receive a reply.

Can you give a message to Matthew Barney For Me?

No. This is a fan site and is in no way affiliated with Matthew Barney. Matthew Barney can be contacted through the Gladstone Gallery in New York.

Who created this web site? is compiled and maintained by artist Eric Doeringer. To see other projects by Eric Doeringer, please visit is privately owned and maintained and in no way affiliated with Matthew Barney and/or his representatives, nor is it implied to be or should be interpreted as such. His representatives cannot be reached through this site and we cannot forward messages to them. This website is an unofficial tribute/fan site and has been created solely for entertainment, news and education purposes. Use of copyrighted images and information is covered under the fair use section of the Copyright Law. This website is not responsible for any content, off this site, to which it links. This website and its contents do not constitute official information. Although the information is believed to be accurate when presented, this site is under constant revision, and no warranty of any kind including accuracy, completeness, reliability, or otherwise is made. The website registrant will not be responsible for any damages of any nature resulting from use of or reliance upon the information provided herein.