Taryn Simon, ‘Church of Scientology, Screening Room’, 2007, Gagosian
Taryn Simon, ‘Church of Scientology, Screening Room’, 2007, Gagosian

Accompanying Text Plate:

Church of Scientology, Screening Room, Celebrity Centre International, Hollywood, California

The screening room at the Scientology Celebrity Centre screens Scientology films as part of the Church’s recruitment effort. The projected film is Orientation: A Scientology Information Film. On weekends the Orientation film screens 40-50 times; each weekday it screens 5-10 times.

Scientology believes in the power of media to promote its belief system. Films and audio-visual materials are produced by the Church’s own production company, Golden Era Productions. Golden Era is located at Gold Base, a multi-million dollar compound in southern California. It contains film and sound studios, editing facilities, a film laboratory, and administrative offices responsible for guiding the dissemination process. It is staffed by the Sea Organization, a group of advanced members of the Church who have promised a lifetime commitment of employment.

Series: An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar

Image rights: © 2007 Taryn Simon / Courtesy Steidl / Gagosian

About Taryn Simon

Conceptual artist Taryn Simon’s photographs and accompanied writing are the result of a long process of research and investigation. For her 2011 work A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters, produced over a four-year period, Simon traveled around the world collecting stories and images that mapped the relationships among chance, blood, and other components of fate. Her work Contraband (2010) presented 1,075 images of items that were detained or seized from passengers and mail entering the United States from abroad. An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar (2007), revealed objects, sites, and spaces that are integral to America's foundation or daily functioning but remain inaccessible or unknown to the public audience, including a nuclear waste storage facility, a braille edition of Playboy, and the art collection of the CIA. Equally concerned with formalism and realism, Simon seeks seductive images of inaccessible and unrecognized, but symbolic, subjects, and maintains a diverse practice that extends to film, sculpture, and performance.

American, b. 1975, New York, New York, based in New York, New York