“Universal existence, eternally unfinished and acephalic, a world like a bleeding wound, endlessly creating and destroying particular finite beings: it is in this sense that true universality is the death of God.”
The haruspex were priests in Ancient Rome who knew the “art of observation of the victims’ innards”, and used it to speculate about the world and to predict the future. In our filthy, obscene and shameful haruspication practises through the observation of social media, we clearly have seen that there is something new taking shape. Yes, a new artistic wave. It shares style, medium and influences, and it expresses through dirty collages, mainly in black and white. The themes are shared too: pornography, necropsy, war, violence, totalitarianism, sacred images, anatomy. A visual daughter of the most extreme industrial sound, this new wave of necrophiliac collagists produces a disturbing, visceral and dangerous art, which we like very badly. The exponents are many, Lydia Lazarus, Ish Boshet, Quentin Rhys, Emily Roth, Carlos Davila, Jesse Smith, just to mention a few. Among all, we choose to dedicate this article to Vnutrennosti, a Muscovite connected with us by strange affinities, of whom you will hardly find photos or personal information.
In Russian “vnutrennosti” means innards, what is inside, entrails. The inner of the body, its bloody and incredibly perfect mechanism, is a mystery that can’t be seen nor touched, except minimally, during the sexual act or during the sectorial practices of autopsy. The body is the focal point of Vnutrennosti’s poetics: the body without organs in particular, the one pushed to the limit by nature, which marks it with illness or tears it up by death.
During the course of human life, the mouth is the first erogenous zone to be stimulated. Then, it regulates the exchanges between what is inside and what is external, it allows the feeding process and the communication through words.
Vnutrennosti represents the body parts in a tragic way, all of them, especially the eyes. They are often sutured, by surgical stitches or metallic stamples affixed on the collage. Sometimes they are sick or disfigured by traumas. In some works, eyes are placed in the centre of the chest, like a heart. The heart is the centre of our being, from which all our desires unravel. All desires, and what come from them: love, illusion, reject, delusion, hate.
Bodies are living objects dogmatically closed, with the exception of the mouth, female genitals, anus, ears, nostrils and eyes. Vnutrennosti shows taboo zones of the visible, like illness, death, the opening of the body. For these reasons, surgical tools and dilators, used to open and violate the bodies, have a great importance in his work. These tools are used to penetrate inside the wounds. French writers say that the wound is the source of our strength. In the runic system, the rune number 6, Kenaz, represents the wound and also the torch. It’s the purifying fever, which give us the awareness about the world and which guide us for better or for worse.
“Sick, I knew very well that if I were healed by a miracle, I would not survive. The miracle is unclean.”
Jean Genet, Notre-Dame-des-Fleurs
Sickness is an exceptional condition. It can be congenital, inoculate itself by infection, irradiation, or develop after some deficiency. The sick body have to be isolated, because the pain it feels is incommunicable, and contaminating to the eyes of healthy people. Sickness is a permanent condition, you cannot be healed, and you don’t have to. “The cure is Delirium.” (Coil Manifesto)
Vnutrennosti dedicates many collages to mental disease, to the delirium of the one who knows that the “rats in the wall are waiting for a sign to attack the veins” causing the death, or the one who self-mutitates in order to sedate anguish.
One work represents the procedure of lobotomy, a method used in the civilized Western World as so-called cure for depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. This operation was performed to damage the prefrontal cortex, compromising all the activities involved with free will, planning and visualization of consequences. It caused incontinence, inability to make decisions, resetting of any emotive intensity, infantile regression, epilepsy, vegetation. The history of this practise starts in Switzerland, in the Nineteenth Century, with experiments on anonymous psychiatric patients, and some of them obviously died. Antonio Egas Moniz, the doctor who perfected lobotomy in the Thirties and who was honoured with the Nobel Prize for Medicine, used to drill the cranium of his patients with thin picks. Then, in order to destroy the white substance of prefrontal lobes, he injected alcohol in the holes. The serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer did the same to his victims, trying to force them to stay with him. The lobotomy practice was imported then in America, and improved by Walter Jackson Freeman II. He was able to reach the prefrontal lobes through tear ducts with a surgical pick, called orbitoclast. In this way, lobotomy could be performed in day surgery, in a few minutes. Freeman operated it on thousands people. Rather than a cure, lobotomy was a method of social control against the undesiderables, especially women, as the story of the actress Frances Farmer has told.
The mutilated and suffering bodies of Vnutrennosti are often represented in sacral poses, in accordance with the most strong and everlasting visual tradition of Christian culture. After the twelve stations of Golgotha, the torn body offers itself as the constitutive show of our civilization, the most worthy to be seen, represented and reproduced live.
The torment of the body is the generative fire of the western history of art. But this dogma has its paradoxical implication: even though the christological myth states that pain is sacred, in real life sorrow is seen as an unclean, contaminating thing, to be relegated far from the view and to keep at a distance. The real disease is pain itself.
Vnutrennosti is born in the necrotic womb of the power electronics aesthetics. He is bond to it by the black and white collage technique, the representation of extreme bodies and the quotations of mass murders. A scratched slab reminds the X-Rays of Albert Fish’s pelvis. Fish was an infanticide serial killer, and a piquerism lover. He used to pierce his down below with needles, and many of them got lost, adapting to his body. Another reference to the serial killer mythology is the writing “PIG”, that the Manson Family used to trace with the victims’ blood on their murder scene. The song Piggies from the Beatles’ White Album inspired Manson to enrich the neo-language of his cult. The word PIG was perfect to bespeak potential victims.
Black and white purifies and dirties, at the same time. It purifies from the gore of dark brown, jaundiced ivory, livid blue and red of the sick or open body. It dirties for the grain, which is big, like in collages of the early power electronics artworks, made with photocopiers.
CARNAGE AND POETRY
A lady sniffing a flower, the vampire’s shadow, a big tree in a forest, a circumscribed, cut scene of male sexual submission, Dresden’s debris razed to the ground. This work seems to depict a destructive love tale.
There is a strange phenomenon, very difficult to explain. When physical or mental pain gains the critical mass, it becomes so totalizing, intimate and precious that it gets erotized. It is really difficult to understand, but that’s just the way it is. To erotize the pain is a way of transforming it in a performance, a theatrical act, with a concrete value. Physical and, therefore, cathartic.
Even in his undeniable visual violence, Vnutrennosti represents death with solemnity and respect. Many works are dedicated to the suicide issue. The inscription “LOSER” labels playing cards, with specular loops, or heads sectioned by the passage of a train.
“Bent over backwards to an agony without genius, we are not neither authors of our twilights, nor umpires of our good-byes: the end is not our end: we lack the excellence of a sole initiative – for which we would rescue a tasteless and without talent life-, as we lack the sublime cynicism, art’s ancient pomp perishing. Desperation unimaginative persons, corpses that are accepted, we all survive and die just to fulfill a useless formality. It is as if our life was more busy postponing the moment in which we could liberate us of it.”
Vnutrennosti penetrates in the most radical depths of the history of art and civilization, showing the sacred and terrible beauty of the body, even if it is sick, slaughtered, dead, subdued, old or crooked.
Thanks to Aleksey, Rachele Cinarelli and Elena P.