Untitled (Peyote Vision), 1955, Cameron (from Semina journal, no. 1).
Thanks to Erik Davis for drawing my attention to a small online exhibition of Marjorie Cameron artwork and documentary material. Semina was the magazine founded by Cameron’s artist friend, Wallace Berman. The exhibition note tells us that:
Wallace Berman’s only exhibition at Ferus Gallery in 1957 was raided by the LAPD vice squad because of the small reproduction of this sexually graphic work by Cameron that was part of Berman’s assemblage, Temple.
Allen Ginsberg’s Howl successfully fought off an obscenity charge in the same year but the immediacy of visual art means it always fares less well with disapproving authorities. We can assume that Cameron had personal experience of peyote given some verse written by her husband, Jack Parsons, that Robert Anton Wilson quotes in Cosmic Trigger (1977):
I hight Don Quixote, I live on peyote,
marjuana, morphine and cocaine,
I never know sadness, but only a madness
that burns at the heart and the brain.
On the same site is this wonderful still (or is it a location photo?) from the shooting of Curtis Harrington’s Night Tide in 1961. Seeing this makes me want to watch the film again.