PRINT January 2015


Cameron in Los Angeles

Curtis Harrington, The Wormwood Star, 1956, 16 mm, color, sound, 10 minutes.

MARJORIE ELIZABETH CAMERON PARSONS KIMMEL—or Cameron, the name she preferred—was that rarest of figures, a seminal invisible. Artist, poet, witch, beacon of the counterculture, she knew everyone and materialized everywhere, though now her own name has all but vanished. Cameron showed with sculptor Edward Kienholz at Walter Hopps’s Syndell Studio in Los Angeles. She played the Scarlet Woman in Kenneth Anger’s 1954 film Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome. She knew L. Ron Hubbard before he founded Scientology. She had a small part in a movie with Dennis Hopper, who said that she scared him out of his mind. One of her erotic drawings provoked the LAPD to arrest Wallace Berman (who’d championed her in his legendary journal Semina) at his 1957 Ferus Gallery show—arguably the scandal that put LA art on the map. And then there was John “Jack” Parsons, Cameron’s first husband,

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 2015 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.