In this work, which is a still from the film Cremaster 2, the artist poses himself as Gary Gilmore, who was convicted of murder and executed in 1977. Barney recreates Gilmore’s character and uses his life and death as a focal point for Cremaster 2. Barney explains why Gilmore was a suitable character for his film: ‘Gilmore spent his entire life in prison so he doesn't have a developed life in the world. Conceptually he's more of a vessel than would be somebody who lives in the world.’ (interview with Jonathan Jones, Untitled, no. 21, Spring 2000). Barney portrays Gilmore as a drone to express his own ideas encompassing Cremaster 2. The blank gaze in this mug-shot of an image is the exact tool he uses to mold the life of Gary Gilmore into his own forceful and contemplative creation in Cremaster 2.
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