Brian Butler, who worked with Kenneth Anger, has a new solo exhibition, a film and art installation, at the LAXART Annex, in Los Angeles, California, through Jun 18th.
“Part of “Images and Oracles,” Butler’s first solo exhibition, “The Dove and the Serpent” is a meditation on alchemy; the title references the Hermetic principle “as above, so below.” Filmed at a castle in Normandy, France, with some friends he rounded up during Paris fashion week last fall, including Dash Snow’s sister Caroline and the cinematographer Edouard Plongeon, whose family provided the locale, the two-and-a-half minute piece is beautiful, hypnotic and vaguely sinister. Shadowy figures shape-shift and meld with the elements, occult symbols flash and fade, and there is some covetable fashion on display, including a Masonic robe and an ivory silk gown by the London designer Qasimi.
The film screens on a loop in the gallery, projected between four cubes covered in alchemical symbols and standing on pillars. “People often think of a goat’s head or these pagan ideas, but these are cubes,” Butler says. “I felt like it was an interesting way to blend these arcane teachings with a modernist setting.” He compares the forms, two black and two white, to “machines or maps of the astral world,” adding that they can “get rather complex, like a Rubik’s Cube. Once you turn it, it can be difficult to get back to where you were.” [via]