Spirits of Saturn 
2015  
Appropriation art collage piecework in progress

What is Spirits of Saturn about?

Spirits of Saturn explores notions of "whiteness" and the social practice of "whitening" as the removal of perception, distinctiveness or individualism and the road to consciousness. Investigating the impact that a lack of diversity in the authorship of visual representation and mediated communication has and has had on our collective consciousness, in particular, our understandings of race, gender, the performance of masculinity, and the revolving and often destructive cycles of objectification and exploitation that often accompany the social/political exclusion of culturally dissimilar groups.

Why the title Spirits of Saturn?

Venetian Ceruse, also known as Spirits of Saturn, was a 16th-century cosmetic used as a skin whitener. It was in great demand and considered the best available at that time. The cosmetic's use of white lead as a pigment caused lead poisoning, damaging the skin and causing hair loss. Usage over an extended period could cause death

Queen Elizabethan
Queen Elizabethan

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Make-up pot with molded tablets of white lead found in a tomb from the 5th c. BC; at the Kerameikos Archaeological Museum. Image credit: Bibi Saint-Pol via Wikipedia

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Queen Elizabethan
Queen Elizabethan

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The Making of Spirits of Saturn

Listen to Chris Christion discuss his process of video collage and the creation of this video art 

"Keeping themselves white to keep themselves projectable, in other words non-identifiable was everything..."

 

- Margaret Bowland (speaking on the practice of whitening) 

Some images from Spirits of Saturn

Still from Spirits of Saturn 2015 Appropriation art collage piece work in progress

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Still from Spirits of Saturn 2015 Appropriation art collage piece work in progress

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Spirits of Saturn, 2016 SKIN Exhibition Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) Los Angeles, CA

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Still from Spirits of Saturn 2015 Appropriation art collage piece work in progress

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