Collaborator and Barney authority Nancy Spector titles her essay on the Cremaster Cycle1 “Only the perverse fantasy can still save us.”2 Erroneously attributed to Goethe, the title pulls together ideas that I explore in this concluding chapter. Looking to Barney’s work, I want to use his multivalent aesthetic and mythology to consider past, present and future bodies. Barney’s body-centric projects-both including and pre-dating the Wagnerian Cremaster Cycle, (1994-2002)—explore a utopian world before genital/sexual diDerentiation.3 It is a world of conRict, excess, and hubris.4 At the same time, it is a world of possibility, beauty and vision. As Richard Dormant, the Daily Telegraph art critic recognises, Barney “has his own

aesthetic, which is completely diDerent from anyone else’s …. It is a queasy sensibility, but it’s beautiful too.”5 In this chapter, which in some respects both preEgures the beginning of this text and looks beyond it, the artist’s work is used to discuss and interrogate both the drive to diDerentiation and the possibility contained within the period of pre-diDerentiation. Whilst Barney’s work is principally about the creation of form, with gender as one zone of articulation for the artist, the body is nonetheless used as a signiEer for a more abstract operative structure.6 "is understanding of the body talks to the focus of this book; that is, an understanding of the body as a system of-or for-social organisation. In other words, the body is conceptualised as a site where gender is played out/constituted with its multiple social eDects. More speciEcally, Barney’s oeuvre-whilst considering the sexed body and “the metaphysics of gender”7-talks speciEcally of the masculine body and its place in social organisation. In this, Barney provides an apposite architecture through which to address the themes of the book.