top of page

Red Saturn, or Images of a gratification that would dissolve the society which suppresses it

Jacinto Astiazarán

Opening Sunday, September 29th 5-8 pm

September 29th - November 3rd, 2019


PRESS: Artforum

Red Saturn, or 

Images of a gratification that would dissolve the society which suppresses it

Two-channel synchronized HD video

38 minutes


At some point while still pretty young I came to the realization that cinema was invented before television. Thinking it was the other way around, I recognized my mistaken assumption only by learning of its folly. “Small and at home comes before big and public,” I thought. I also believed the colors in our framed black-and-white family photos had just dripped off of them over time.


Fire takes different forms according to what it burns. The cool light of a laser pointer draws its life from the surface it lands on, a shadow theater animated by the puppeteer’s pulse. Could you believe in God like you believe in a flame when it burns you? 


A fickle switch is triggered like they do in dreams. The refracted light of a prism beams through and out of metaphor (A reversal: the metamorphosis of red Saturn is a black hole to float into and disappear). Our red laser friend eventually meets up with its friend green laser. They do their atomic trance dance over a party scene then quickly disperse. Other characters come and go, but red laser was the first one I dabbled with. It held my attention for a surprisingly long time, though as it turned out it was just an LED, a cheap impostor. 


I also befriended a Ph.D. student from India along the way. He shared his research in computational biology with me and shed light on some of the more confusing relationships within the Hindu pantheon. His participation makes up an important part of the trip. The second part of the film’s title, Images of a gratification that would dissolve the society which suppresses it, kept looping in my head like a detention sentence. It appears in Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man and factors in more as a projected title than a probable one. A scene I call Journey to the center of a dead pixel didn’t make the final cut, but why not mention it. 


Can video act as a refraction of time? It can if you just squeeze the frame hard enough.


Jacinto Astiazarán (b. Tijuana, Mexico) received an MFA in Fine Art from USC in 2015 and a BA from the USC School of Cinema-Television in 2004. Recent group exhibitions include Cavernous at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and Fantasies and Fallacies at the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Upcoming exhibitions include the MexiCali Biennial in Calexico, CA. Selected video works are archived at Associação Cultural Videobrasil, São Paulo and UCLA Film and Television Archive’s Legacy Project, Los Angeles. 

bottom of page