I started using plastics which all belong to the same family of prosthetic-grade plastics,

I think as a way of both referring to the protective equipment that surrounded me as football player and to the possibility of taking some of those materials and putting them inside your body. You know, the potential for some of these materials to live both internally and externally as a way of building the architecture of the body inward and outward.

I think that within that family of plastics, I wanted there to be a liquid state. You know, a lot of these materials, their defining quality is their resistance to friction. And, of course, Vaseline petroleum jelly is a lubricant, so I think the initial impulse was more to do with making objects as a student and being repelled by how dry they were, and just wanting to moisten them. It's also something that was just present all the time in the training room. There was always petroleum jelly, there was always the mentholated petroleum jelly that they would put on the roof of your mouth if you had cotton mouth or put on your ankles before they taped them. There was always this layer of lubricant.

Matthew Barney

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