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An attempted explanation of my attempt at “Grotesque Effects” (for German Grotesque class):

In my assignment entity, I chose to miss-mash a fragmented ‘phantasmagoria’ of dreams and images through a mixed media scrapped together thing of a book. This was a very ‘hands-on’ thing for me, in which I used whatever means I had- which was very limited- to create or recreate a sense of displacement from reality. I deliberately chose to make the booklet-entity unpolished, to give the effect of having stumbled upon a manuscript from an unknown realm that is at once familiar and foreign (the uncanny effect). The process of conception was also curious. It was mashed together in-between classes with little or no thought through a visceral collaging process. I did minimal research on how to put together such a book; thus, the numerous ways in which it can be read may be considered a happy accident. The mixing of numerous medias, for me, exemplifies the nature of the grotesque being as that which is not categorizable. In a way, I feel it is in the mixing of text/image/material/scraps in which the ‘grotesque being’ can come into consciousness and define something that I feel is almost impossible to articulate- the realm of dreams, the unconscious, and that which is beyond the ‘curtain’ of (rational, Apollonian, daytime) consciousness.

There is also an ‘essay on life’ I inserted into the piece which I feel necessary to highlight. It is, ironically, an Apollonian attempt to articulate the Dionysian state of being. Even though the word ‘essay’ seems to imply that is a rationally dictated work wherein I apply the logic of interpretation to something essentially beyond interpretation, it ended up more like a fanatic stream-of-consciousness piece of which content transcends itself. In effect, it becomes a rather deformed, whirlwind of a piece. On the flip side of the aforementioned ‘essay on life’, I present the ‘Dionysian’ face of this subject in a stream-of-consciousness poem and rather grotesque picture. This reminds me of the “Janus”, neither black/white nature of the Grotesque in and of itself. There are also a few ‘gateway’ pictures- the book starts with a gateway on both sides. All in all, the book in its physical materiality seeks to bring to the reader an uncanny displacement of emotion wherein one thinks one has found something familiar yet lost, yet is struck by the uncanniness of having found something which does not belong in this reality in one’s hands. Think of it as a museum artifact uncovered from the forsaken shores of Atlantis.

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