A Celebration of the Abject and Grotesque / by Chris Hall

Today let us celebrate the abject and the grotesque!   

This is the life of the carnivalesque body.

Why do I make art on the absurd, the dirty, and the impure?  Perhaps it is the last refuge of those who refuse to assimilate.  Hell, no one really paid me the money I wanted when I painted flowers anyways, so why the fuck not make art about all the things which you consider ugly and depraved?  Perhaps, this body of work is my revenge on society.  But this is only my catharsis speaking, my own personal take on things.  So you want to learn about a theory that considers the art of ugliness?  Let us look at the ideas of Francois Rabelais and Mikhail Bakhtin!

Here, all that is rejected by and disturbs the rational, social reason has its time in the sun, and it is here, in this abject space, that conventional identity and cultural concepts are challenged freely and without consequence.  It is liberation through humor and chaos.  The merger and commingling of the sacred and profane, heaven and hell, masculine and feminine, and other such ideas of mutually exclusivity, allows for the free exchange of opposing ideas.  In such places cultural, and, perhaps, political change can occur, as all hierarchal positions are destroyed.  Purity is the enemy of change, the enemy of life, of progress.  

So we must cross boundaries and take risks.  We must transgress against what is thought to be holy.  We must celebrate life, with all its messiness.  Death is stasis, where there is no movement, and we must have movement in order to progress.  We must turn the world upside down, if only for one night.

“All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned” Karl Marx