About

 

This project has a long and chequered history, and as such might be consigned to my archive site, but I hope it may yet have some currency.

The video for Scorpio Rising 2 was produced in 1997 as a kind of pastiche of Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising, 1963, a seminal work in the history of both appropriation and the use of popular music in film and video. Scorpio Rising mixes Anger’s own biker gang footage with found imagery, including a Bible movie which, according to Anger, was misdelivered to his doorstep while he was in the process of editing. Anger’s work was informed by his engagement with the occultism of Aleister Crowley, and thus Scorpio Rising’s appropriation of religious imagery was a deliberate inversion of meaning, via the artist’s polemical intercutting.

Scorpio Rising 2 mixes similar biker and biblical source material through two full length films split and combined horizontally, but as no further edits were made, any meaningfully connected events that may be observed between the two sources cannot be ascribed to the artist. However, my intention was to make a gospel work, and this is reflected explicitly in the subtitle text, and implicitly in the intertextuality of the visual and aural (dialogic) coincidences that occur throughout the work.

It was this intention, and my response to the outcome, that led me to refuse to sell the work when Mudam asked to add it to their collection. The museum then kindly offered to publish the work as a book and DVD, which was more in line with my intention, but the project was eventually frustrated by copyright issues. Since then, Scorpio Rising 2 has been exhibited in various settings as a full-length movie, but is here presented as previously intended, in chapter form, accompanied by the unpublished book design.