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Saint Profanus is an interdisciplinary institute and incubator for investigating human relationships to materiality and subjective experience.
As a container, Saint Profanus functions like the black box in systems theory, channeling the most sacred profane, from the semiotics of spectacle and of source, through frames of empirical reference, to present experiences* that exist simultaneously inside and outside of the ubiquity of everyday life.
*The Saint Profanus experience is imbued with a fervent intent to deconstruct the accumulated participation mystique, revealing a divine play of absurdity and cyclical discovery (or inevitable dissolution) of meaning.”
Where are you from, where are you based and can you tell us a little about both?
“From” is a rather definitive classification… Saint Profanus, as a rule (and one of the very few we adhere to), resists reductive classification systems.
We emerge from the center point of stark binaries and then dramatically swing back and forth between them.
Saint Profanus’ conceptual-operational bases are scattered about the multiverse like an absurdist version of a mega-franchise…from the deepest recesses of the collective subconscious to the ubiquitous city-corner bodega.
“We” (the directors/founders of Saint Profanus) are peripatetic by nature and exist as part of the vast and meandering working-artist diaspora, largely operating on the fringes and perpetually seeking our “promised land”.
What are your plans while in Athens?
We came to Athens for a series of artist residencies, intended as time and space to work in and on research and development for our forthcoming poly-media intervention by way of ‘magazine’: The Screen.
During our first few weeks here (and after a series of unanticipated events which had us counting coins for street meat while an ongoing NFT bubble emerged in the collective zeitgeist) we were inspired to create a store of uncanny goods: Specific General, to exist as as ironic (and poignant) statements on consumer culture and simultaneously as actual products of intellectual, conceptual, and digital labor.
The first iteration of this work can be found online and is open for business. We plan to produce the second instalment of this project, a physical and interactive installation, in 2022 (perhaps in Athens, if the site we seek makes itself available to us).
We also plan to release Excerne / Refundere, a photo-broadsheet publication accompanied by original text, soundscape and scent.
Our ‘plans’ have extended to include such weekly rituals as:
1.detailed experience driven research and embodied critique of 3-5euro greek wine, most notably of the 1.5lt plastic bottle variety.
2.feeding the much maligned felines that inhabit the roped-off sections of Athens’ ancient monuments.
3.observing and admiring a cranky octogenarian neighbour performing her daily cursings of the street from her balcony.
Favourite project you’ve worked on and a project you would love to do in the future?
The current favourite in our list of projects is an undocumented archival/performance event in which we (the founders) gleaned the scattered remnants of a head-on collision between a Maserati & a cargo train in Marfa, Texas.
Forward looking, we have grand plans for a series of psychological horror films. One in which a shape shifting duo are stuck in an endless maze of American strip malls (an infinite regress of Home Depots & Starbucks), and another in the vein of 1970’s vampire tropes where the bloodsuckers are reimagined as “creative” contemporaries : faux residency hosts, attention drunk influencers, insta-shams, “curators”, etc….
What artists have inspired the way you produce your works?
Saint Profanus exists in the continued spirit of all the Artists and Creators whose names are unknown or occupy only brief mentions in the annals of collective “art history”.
You could also say the essence vitae of Saint Profanus, if distilled, may contain sprinklings of influence from : General Idea, Barbara Kruger, Agnes Varda, Guy Bourdin, Kazumi Kurigami, Orlan, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Nikki de Saint Phalle, Salvador Dali & Gala, Superstudio, Martin Margiela, José Miguel de Prada Poole, The Reality Club, The Church of Euthanasia, Nouveau Réalisme… and other secret elements.
Describe your work/style in 3 words?
Sacred. Profane. Intervention.
Whats next on the agenda?
We are looking forward to launching the first issue of The Screen this year.
We are also working towards a large-scale endeavour incorporating elements of an artist residency/retreat, village and alternative economic/education environment that would function as the Saint Profanus headquarters and as a true sanctuary space for others in the working-artist diaspora.
Where can we find you online?