Spirits of Saturn


SKIN Exhibition

Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) 

Los Angeles, CA

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.

Spirits of Saturn is a video and multimedia installation which 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.

© Chris Christion, Artist/Curator


2015 Two-way mirror, speakers and video clip of dying insect, audio clip of James Baldwin