The drawings featured in the Cosmic Hunt project render locations, characters and fragments from Matthew Barney’s film Redoubt (2018) in finely detailed graphite and gouache on coloured paper. The different hues of the paper matched in the works’ polymer frames – magenta, ochre, blue and orange – evoke the changing skies, forest fires, and spectrums of the Idaho wilderness that is the setting for Redoubt.

The Cosmic Hunt project owes its title to a family of cognate ‘cosmic hunt’ myths. These widely disseminated myths describe the pursuit of an animal, which, through its death or wounding, is transformed into a constellation. Likewise, these seven drawings consider both the cosmic vastness and the terrestrial realities of the Idaho region where Redoubt was made.


The cabinet exists as the sculptural distillation of the Redoubt film. The intricate wall-mounted sculpture, cast in copper, encases a vast landscape image, rendered in electroplated copper relief. Accretions of thickly-electroplated copper form jagged mountains and a barren, singed forest- acting as a physical evocation of the scenes in the film.

The cabinet’s central plate assumes a cinematic aspect, recalling the emblematic paintings of the American West by 19th-century artists including Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, and Frederic Church. Many of these monumentally scaled paintings, particularly those by Albert Bierstadt, were toured around the country and revealed theatrically at live events behind a proscenium.

Together, the Redoubt sculpture and the film comprise an editioned artwork, one which links the narrative and cinematic origins of the project with its material and pictorial manifestations.


Redoubt transposes the ancient myth of Diana and Actaeon into the rugged Idaho wilderness through wordless, choreographed storytelling. Structured as a series of six hunts that unfold over seven days and nights, Redoubt follows Diana, accompanied by her attendants, the Calling Virgin and the Tracking Virgin, as they traverse the mountainous terrain in pursuit of the elusive wolf. An Engraver happens upon the hunting outfit and begins stalking the trio, furtively documenting their actions in a series of copper engravings which are subjected to electrochemical transformation in The Electroplater’s remote dwelling.

These short clips from Redoubt introduce the setting, characters, and themes of the film.


Redoubt was filmed in the Sawtooth Mountains of central Idaho, near where the artist grew up – a region where wolves were reintroduced in 1995, and have since been relisted for legal hunting. This vast landscape occupies a central role in the film, and continues Barney’s long-standing preoccupation with landscape as both a setting and subject in his films.

The Sawtooth Range is largely situated within an eponymous wilderness area comprising millions of acres of federally-managed land. Once home to the Northern Shoshone people, the region later attracted miners drawn to its rich veins of mineral and metal deposits, as well as hunters and trappers drawn to the abundance of game.

The coordinates are specific markers in the narrative of the hunt; the formal, militaristic precision of place and setting are mirrored in Diana’s and The Engraver’s pursuit and engagement.