18th February 2010
Sprüth Magers Berlin London
"Kenneth Anger was born in Santa Monica, California. His most iconic works include the classic Fireworks (1947), Eaux D'Artifice (1953), Rabbit's Moon (1950-1973), Inauguation of the Please Dome (1954-1966), Scorpio Rising (1964), Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969) and Lucifer Rising (1970-1981). His work has been featured at the Whitney Biennial 2006, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Centre, New York in 2009 and the Athens Biennial 2009.
He lives and works in Los Angeles."1
Anger's work strongly reflects on the Xenophobic attitudes of the 1960's. For example within Scorpio Rising, Anger uses heavily embedded imagery consisting of Nazis, Jesus, eroticism and Sunday Comics. This Juxtaposition of imagery seems to hold some essence of distaste within modern culture, however to understand the effects of Anger's films you have to imagine how his films would have been received in the early 60's.
Anger's lack of narrative combined with frustratingly muddled soundtracks cause an element of hyper reality where the viewer can't enter the video (the key purpose of majority of cinema) but is in fact submerged in angers alternate reality where good and evil assimilate. Provoking the viewer to question the culture they have been fed.
Paul McArthur and Carolee Schneeman also comment on taboo subjects within the 60's with works such as Projection Room (1971-2006) and Meat Joy (1964) respectively. However with regard to Anger's videos they do not strike the same level of disgust and aversion because of because of Anger's adjacency of accepted and non accepted cultural references sparks a greater sense of unsettling within the viewer. In a way that is horrifically far away from being a satirical reference.