Kiana R Beckmen
Kiana Ruth Beckmen is an author and artist raised on the Central Coast of California. Drawing on a background in art history, creative writing, and museum studies from Johns Hopkins University, she is primarily invested in the study of comparative religions, and in the societal desires which prompt and enforce their evolution. Influenced by a reform Jewish upbringing and personal mélange of spiritual practices, she creates interdisciplinary, multi-valent sites of historical and spiritual investigation, which synthesize a collage of perspectives and references, often evoking cultures of the sacred. Inquiry is often motivated by feminist impulses of reclamation, ecological reverence, and the desire to share a sense of the magic and mystery in the landscape of spiritual history.
I am an interdisciplinary artist and writer primarily engaged with history’s influence on the present, and with the infrastructure of religion, mythology, and spirituality as foundational to human culture. By integrating imagery, text, and art historical references in intricate, diagrammatic environments, I highlight a plurality of perspectives, illuminating interwoven dialogues. Working mostly books, serial illustration, and animation, I mostoftenaddress fraught relationships with the environment and female power, often in conjunction.
The Book of Lilith
These in-progress scenes are elements of an animation on the character of Lilith, a Mesopotamian demon who haunts Jewish folklore, and who, by the 1500s, is present enough in the zeitgeist to be depicted on the Sistine chapel, curving up the tree of knowledge with a serpentine body and a female head. In the Medieval period, stories about her as the “first wife of Adam, born with him out of the dirt,” arise, and she is banished from the garden for transgressions varying from asking to name some of the animals, refusal to submit sexually, and speaking the most sacred name of God. Cropping up in hundreds of years of amulets, esoteric texts and imagery, and perhaps the word “lullaby” (from “Lilith abiti”—"Lilith go away,”)the scorned, baby-eating, demon-birthing, nightmare-inducing, sexually dangerous succubus with long profane hair and sometimes bestial features, is a fascinating example of how suppression and vilification of the divine feminine results in the self-fulfilling prophesy of vengeance, violent shame, and destructive subversion.
Oh Mother Matrix!
(Why do theThunder GodsReign?)
Watercolor illumination, gold chromeworks on paper
10x13, 4.4x10 in
Watercolor works on paper
12" x 9"