Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I just finished watching Ghost World, and couldn't resist sharing these clips.

And thus it becomes art...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Grotesque Chairs?

My sister was in my office the other day and felt the need to comment on my chair. Apparently it "makes a funny noise" and sits "on a weird angle." I took personal affront to this. It seemed just a bit insensitive, given my current status as woman/chair hybrid.

As any student or real estate agent knows, location is everything. You can't just sit anywhere, on any old thing. My chair is special. We commune with each other. It sits on a weird angle because I sit on a weird angle. It screams intermittently because it feels my existential pain.

I will admit that the humble office chair is not the most exciting of topics. However, ruminating on the subject more generally led me to wonder if it were possible for a chair to be grotesque? What would a grotesque chair look like?

Maybe like Maximo Riera's Octopus Chair?

Or a Crappy Taxidermy Chair?

Perhaps a Misogynist Chair?

Maybe Simone Racheli's Meat Chair?

How about this practical invention, the Toilet Chair?

OK... so maybe that's just a toilet.


Not sure about grotesque, but they are all very creative in their own way.


As Hila so wisely pointed out in the comments, Homer Simpson invented the toilet chair. The Simpsons Wiki confirms that:

"The Lazy Man Toilet Seat is the toilet chair that Homer invented.

Homer conceived of the chair as a way of going to the toilet while watching TV instead of having to go upstairs to use the toilet there, which Homer described as "the hardest thing in the world." While most of the family viewed this invention (and most of Homer's other ones) as "awful," Bart liked the chair. He was about to use it ("Gangway! Gotta poop!") when Marge stopped him, saying that she didn't want him going to the bathroom in the living room."



I found another one. This pic has been doing the rounds, and like everyone else I would dearly love to know who made it:

Mmm squishy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Nothing gross today. Just my favourite song right now.

As you were...

Friday, March 18, 2011


Another amazing female artist discovery: Sarah-Jane Lynagh.

Lynagh is an Irish artist whose work:
"revolves around a cluster of issues chief among which are sexuality, death, identity, abjection, the monstrous feminine and loss. Despite the universal importance of these issues her work remains firmly grounded in the specifics of her individual experience.

Using unconventional materials such as offal and parts of dead animals she makes props which she then incorporates into video and photographic works where the body is of primary concern. Her intent is to turn the body inside out and subvert the role of the meat making it an attachment to the outer body in order to evoke feelings that something is habitual yet out of place and threatening.

Also, her aim is to create work that is simultaneously seductive and repellent and engages with the viewers desire to gain access to the subject through symbolization."

Cool hat.

The women/meat equation is not a new thing in art and academia (or popular discourse, for that matter, judging from the number of times I've read the phrase 'treated like a piece of meat') but I do find it interesting to see the different ways in which individual artists work through the idea for themselves.

The pic above reminds me of Daikichi Amano's squid pictures:

Not posting any more of those. You can go find them if you like, but I take no responsibility for trauma caused.

[Via Trend Hunter and Cakehead Loves Evil]

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nature's Eternal Plan

If you have ever wondered about Lady Bits And How They Do (or longed to hear a prim 1940s lady saying 'rectum') then this is the film for you.

Please note: as a public transport user I would encourage all people to bathe regularly.

Friday, March 11, 2011


[The Inquisitors. Via]

Beth Cavener Stichter's beautiful work reminds me of both Patricia Piccinini and Kate MacDowell. Although each artist has her own unique perspective and approach, they share a thematic concern with the intermixing of human and nonhuman bodies, and explore the blurry boundaries of ontology more generally.

[Husk. Via]

Stichter explains that:

"The sculptures I create focus on human psychology – stripped of context and rationalization, and articulated through animal and human forms."

[Empire of Dust. Via]

The pieces are very emotional. The one below breaks my heart. The posture is so expressive that you immediately empathise with the creature and its pain. Nobody should feel like they are no one. The fact that this animal is an 'i' - as opposed to an 'it' or 'thing' - is clear.

[i am no one. Via]

Stichter's artistic statement articulates the logic behind her creations brilliantly:

Both human and animal interactions show patterns of intricate, subliminal gestures that betray intent and motivation. The things we leave unsaid are far more important than the words we speak out-loud to one another. I have learned to read meaning in the subtler signs; a look, the way one holds one's hands, the tightening of muscles in the shoulders, the incline of the head, the rhythm of a walk, and the slightest unconscious gestures. I rely on animal body language in my work as a metaphor for these underlying patterns, transforming the animal subjects into human psychological portraits.

I want to pry at those uncomfortable, awkward edges between animal and human. The figures are feral and uneasy, expressing frustration for the human tendency towards cruelty and lack of understanding. Entangled in their own internal and external struggles, the figures are engaged with the subjects of fear, apathy, violence and powerlessness.

Something conscious and knowing is captured in their gestures and expressions. An invitation and a rebuke.

[Object Lesson: Apathy. Via]

[A Rush of Blood to the Head. Via]

Check out Stichter's website for many more images and details of her work, as well as exhibitions and workshops.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Knowing Me And Knowing Zu

Following on from my previous swag focused post, here is another interesting thing I own. Much more overtly grotesque-centric this time.

This is the demon Pazuzu, a replica of a very old statuette from ancient Mesopotamia circa 1st millennium BC. I believe the original bronze resides in the Louvre Museum (pic here) but I bought my model from the British Museum when I visited a while ago. I was perusing the museum shop looking for potential Christmas presents (for other people, I swear) when I saw him amongst the other replica statues. I was struck right away by his composite body and fierce posture. My professional interest was piqued, as he seems very human, while also displaying the hybrid anatomy that is characteristic of the early 'grotesque' style.

According to the accompanying paperwork, which is taken from this description from the Louvre:
"Pazuzu first appeared in the 1st millennium BC in hybrid form, with the body of a man and the head of a scowling dragon-snake which also has both canine and feline features. He is represented as a spirit with two pairs of wings and talons like those of birds of prey. He also has a scorpion's tail and his body is usually depicted covered in scales."

The description also explains the rings on the statue:

"Pazuzu was widely depicted in Assyrian art of the 1st millennium BC in the form of numerous bronze statuettes and protective amulets, made in a variety of materials ranging from plain terracotta to precious steatite or jasper. During this period, many beliefs and magical practises were associated with Pazuzu. The ring at the top of the statuette suggests that this type of object was worn round the neck or hung up in the home, particularly where invalids were sleeping."

Why would you need Pazuzu to protect you? I mean, he has a bit of a reputation.
"The inscription on the back of the wings describes the figure's personality: "I am Pazuzu, son of Hanpa, king of the evil spirits of the air which issues violently from mountains, causing much havoc." The demon Pazuzu was associated with ill winds, particularly the west wind which brought the plague."
Well it turns out that Mrs Puzuzu is also pretty scary. As "a demon from the hellish underworld," Pazuzu's "terrifying, scowling face and his scaly body repel the forces of evil."

Evil, in this case, often in the form of Madam Puzuzu.

The demon "had the power of repelling other demons, and was thus invoked for beneficial ends, particularly to drive his wife Lamashtu back to the underworld. Lamashtu was a demoness who attacked men to infect them with various diseases."

Sadly, I do not have a model of Lamashtu. However this description of the lady should give you a rough idea of her character:
"Lamashtu is described in texts as having the head of a lion, the teeth of a donkey, naked breasts, a hairy body, stained hands, long fingers and finger nails, and the talons of a bird. Plaques also show her suckling a piglet and a whelp while she holds snakes in her hands. She stands on her sacred animal, the donkey, who is sometimes depicted in a boat, riding through the underworld."


We all have bad days.

I didn't realise until today, but the demon that possessed Linda Blair in The Exorcist was called Pazuzu. He has also appeared in Futurama.


Far too cutesy. And why is everyone in their underwear? I should watch this episode for research.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Once a Jolly Swag

Hello, imaginary friends. In penance for a slow down in posting recently, I present an assortment of imagery for your visual enjoyment.

The university grounds have been home to a variety of artistic installations over the last month for the Perth Arts Festival. As part of the Dialogues with Landscape one artist arranged groups of trees and plants, each snuggled into its own sleeping bag. Apparently each circle represents a discipline within the university.

Something tells me this is the Humanities group.

Nobody matches. And someone is really into cartoons.

The above photographs record pretty much my only excursion in the last fortnight. A lot of working has been occurring.

You might think staying home + work = no shopping for loot. You would be mistaken. The 2K Games store is having a sale. My self-gifts arrived in the mail yesterday. Surprise: they are all BioShock related.

This is "1959" by Craig Mullins:

And this is "Subject Delta" by Boris Vallejo:

Very nice. I also scored a couple of posters based on in-game advertisements in BioShock.

The sale is still on, so you can check it out here if you like. Be warned: international postage is very expensive. But everything is half price so I think it works out. Maybe.

Anyway, here endeth shameless nerdy gloating.