Sex Magic: Margaret Haines on occult icon Cameron & gothic American transcendentalism for AQNB’s Artist Statement podcast

, 25 November 2020

“The world as it is is too intense to digest so it’s almost digested through metaphor in her works,” says artist Margaret Haines about Cameron, the late artist and cult icon who is the subject of her upcoming book On Air: Purity Corruption & Pollution. “I think she really comes into her own with her understanding of magic, which is married, a little bit, with art making and creativity.” Speaking to editor Steph Kretowicz for AQNB’s latest Artist Statement podcast, the usually Amsterdam-based Canadian artist talks from a residency in Paris about her film and installation practice that has developed into a fascinating archival research practice focussed on the esoteric and the occult.

Originally from Montreal and spending much of her formative art education in Los Angeles, Margaret has developed a unique visual aesthetic and experimental writing approach to exploring complex belief systems and spiritual practices evolving within broader political, social and historical contexts. She has been working on a narrative biography—produced and edited by AQNB—around Cameron, probably best known for her role in Kenneth Anger’s Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome & marriage to rocket scientist and founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Jack Parsons.

Inspired by her close study and understanding of Cameron’s life and work throughout the Cold War, Margaret’s intention is to bring her influence on a fascinating, if little-known scene to public consciousness—touching on the worlds of notorious English occultist Aleister Crowley, and Scientology—while privileging Cameron’s role within it.

‘Wilderness Years’ is the latest in our Artist Statement podcast series, with past episodes, featuring Geo Wyeth, Zach Blas, Nile Koetting, Katja Novitskova, and more. The full episode is accessible to our subscribers right now on Patreon. Sign up now:**

The latest episode of AQNB’s Artist Statement podcast featuring Margaret Haines is available exclusively to our subscribers today.