CREMASTER 3: Hiram Abiff


Matthew Barney ( American, 1967 )

more object details

General Description

American sculptor Richard Serra appears here as the older master architect of the Chrysler building whom the apprentice architect, played by Barney himself in his film Cremaster 3, must conquer in order to achieve his own identity. Serra stands in front of a tool-like set of columns, a reference to two pillars designed by Hiram Abiff, the mythic architect of Solomon's Temple, who possessed knowledge of the mysteries of the universe. The murder and resurrection of Abiff are reenacted during Masonic initiation rites. Of his work with Barney, Serra said, “What’s interesting is how he’s been able to involve people in his work, his ability to have people who are non-performers enter into his intensity and become an extension of his imagination.”

Adapted from

Anna Katherine Brodbeck, ed., TWO X TWO X TWENTY: Two Decades Supporting Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art), 2018, 52.

Web Resources

  • Guggenheim
    Read more about the Cremaster series.