Margaret Haines’ solo exhibition Battlefield ReX acts as a sculptural mood board for the artist’s forthcoming book, On Air: Purity, Corruption and Pollution.
The exhibition formalizes nearly a decade of research into the life and work of the late Los Angeles artist and occultist, Marjorie Cameron (1922-1995), known mononymously as Cameron. The work presented is as much an assertion of historical fact as a reflection of Haines’ personal experience of working through Cameron’s opus.
Battlefield ReX doubles as the title of a chapter from On Air which tells of Cameron’s first UFO sighting and the impact of this event throughout Cameron’s life—not only for its personal significance but for Cameron’s proto hybrid techno/eco feminist understanding that UFOs were categorically not “high-tech,” but instead, “they were the elements. They were here to restore paradise to earth. This is the restoration of the elemental powers that are available to the matriarchy.”1
Through a methodological working model that cites popular sci-fi tropes of schizophrenic pattern recognition and an intensive research process that allows for chance, Haines gives form to the contingent at the heart of the known. In previous installation and film works such as The Stars Down to Earth (2016) and you face god and the camera at the same time (2017), the artist presents the esoteric, the ancient, the radical and the subcultural alongside the rational and scientific. Within this open structure, the exhibition pairs scriptwriting pre-production processes with ritual pourings—in this way wresting biography into acts of deference and embodiment.
Battlefield ReX is made possible with the kind support of PXL-MAD School of Arts, the Flemish Authorities and the City of Hasselt, Rozenstraat — a rose is a rose is a rose, The Canada Council for the Arts, The Cameron Parsons Foundation and AQNB.
1 Cameron. Interview by Scott Hobbs. Audio recording. Los Angeles, CA. 1995.
Margaret Haines is an artist and writer based in Los Angeles and Amsterdam. Solo and duo exhibitions include Poppositions in Brussels (2019), Auto Italia in London (2018), 1646 in The Hague (2017), and (upcoming) Rozenstraat — a rose is a rose is a rose in Amsterdam (2020). In 2015-2016 she attended the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. Her writing and film works have recently been presented at The East End Film Festival, Carroll Fletcher and The ICA in London, Today’s Art in The Hague, VISIO lo schermo dell’arte in Florence, Human Resources in Los Angeles, Spazio Murate in Bari, Italy and Western Front Exhibitions in Vancouver, Canada.