God Is Not Mocked


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video & sound
duration: 7 min

Stations of the Cross, St Stephen Walbrook, London, 2017
Stations 2020, Arts Chaplaincy Projects, 2020

Laura Moffatt, ‘Stations of the Cross and Resurrection’, Art & Christianity, No 90, Summer 2017
Muriel Zagha, ‘From Psycho to Transcendence’, Elephant, 2017
Stations of the Cross
| Stations of the Resurrection, Stations 2017, catalogue, ISBN 978-1-5272-0874-2s 

from the series Stations of the Cross

© acknowledgements:
Puce Moment (1949) 
Cowgirl In The Sand (Neil Young) 

Commentary by Lucy Newman Cleeve for Stations 2020

The Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped of his garments

This work appropriates the opening sequence from Kenneth Anger’s 6-minute film Puce Moment (1949), which begins with the film credits before cutting to a close up shot of vividly coloured flapper dresses being danced off a clothes rack to music. 

In the context of the Stations, the removal of the dresses from the rack is an allusion to Jesus being stripped of his garments. Dean has looped and layered the footage, then overlaid it with a red-blue filter in reference to the title of Anger’s film and perhaps also to the purple robe and ‘royal’ crown of thorns placed on Jesus at this point in the narrative. The soundtrack appropriates a lyric from Neil Young’s ‘Cowgirl in the Sand’, “Purple words on a grey background”, which is repeated over and over and then echoed and reechoed, pointing attention back to Anger’s title and to the opening credits, in particular the pun in his name. ‘Anger’ could be understood as a comment on the attitude of the perpetrators who strip Jesus or, along with Dean’s title, God Is Not Mocked (a reference to Galatians 6:7), a riposte to Kenneth Anger’s own occult appropriation of Judeo-Christian imagery in his later works.