Matt Momchilov

Gallery Affiliations: Unspeakable Projects

Region: Pacific Coast


City / State: Los Angeles, CA

In 1988, Geraldo Rivera’s special investigative TV report “Exposing Satans Underground” first aired. Blurred faces, expert witnesses, and terrified parents paint a picture of a world where fans of heavy metal music, biker gangs, drug dealers, queers, murderers, child molesters, and practitioners of virtually all pagan and occult religions are byproducts of a growing satanic conspiracy. Time has exposed these allegations as fraudulent, but much of the fearmongering seeped into the public imaginary unchallenged, providing a dangerous platform on which modern-day witch hunts against nonconformity could play out in towns across America.

This project reimagines this time through the lens of Rivera’s scare tactics—bringing to life the fictitious characters and situations he convinced America were real. It functions as a meditation on the role that new forms of media play in the production of cultural misunderstanding, and the shifting nature of what we define as “evil.” Is the passing of time the only way we can understand that our enemies are self-created?