Domesticating Monsters

Domesticating Monsters

Domesticating Monsters by Lara Amelie Abadir B.A. (Hons.),The Arts Institute at Bournemouth, 2005 Project Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Req...

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Domesticating Monsters by Lara Amelie Abadir B.A. (Hons.),The Arts Institute at Bournemouth, 2005

Project Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Fine Arts

in the School for the Contemporary Arts Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology

© Lara Amelie Abadir 2015 SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY Fall 2015

Approval Name:

Lara Amelie Abadir

Degree:

Master of Fine Arts

Title:

Domesticating Monsters

Examining Committee:

Chair: Arne Eigenfeldt Professor

Rob Kitsos Senior Supervisor Associate Professor Steven Hill Supervisor Associate Professor Alexander Ferguson Internal Examiner Faculty Bachelor of Performing Arts Program Capilano University

Date Defended/Approved: October 8, 2015

ii

Abstract My artistic and academic research has been examining how society displays what our dominant culture seeks to repress or even sanitize. ‘What is normal?’ and the reverse, ‘what is abnormal?’ have been recurring questions sparked by my fascination with the borderline areas beyond socialized identity. I am drawn to the confused boundaries that overthrow certain claims about identity. I question how one allocates identity when dealing with the perception of eccentricity as well as the absurd, the grotesque, the uncanny and the bizarre? This cumulative research process has resulted in the creation of two final works that comprise

my

graduating

project, Domesticating

Monsters.

Both

pieces

are

interconnected through their underlying themes and the overarching research process; both propose questions about identity and social behavior exposed by body language and speech. One is an audio-visual installation presented across 3 screens creating multiple viewpoints, alternately supported or juxtaposed by an original sound collage, the other is a staged live performance made up of a cast of 6 interdisciplinary performers that evolves from the installation. Keywords:

audio-visual installation; body language; codified behaviour; the uncanny; facial expressions; head transplantation

iii

Dedication I would like to dedicate this project to my recently deceased mother and heroine, Chris Paur. She has been my driving force to overcome any obstacle on my way; her great willpower, inexhaustive strength and courage will continue to inspire me every day of my life. Mom, I couldn’t have done this without your faith in me. I am incredibly proud to be your daughter. Rest In Peace.

iv

Acknowledgements I would like to thank Rob Kitsos for his continuous support and guidance throughout my MFA journey. I am incredibly grateful and feel blessed to have had such a inspiring, talented and reliable senior supervisor/teacher. I am also incredibly grateful for the great artistic contribution of all the performers and the production team of Domesticating Monsters. Your time, energy and artistry has made this project one I will remember with pride and gratitude, Last, but not least, Stefan Smulovitz, thank you for being such an incredibly talented and supportive collaborator and loyal friend.

v

Table of Contents Approval ............................................................................................................................. ii Abstract ............................................................................................................................. iii Dedication ......................................................................................................................... iv Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................v Table of Contents .............................................................................................................. vi List of Figures .................................................................................................................. vii Chapter 1. Defence Statement: Domesticating Monsters ......................................... 1 ‘As soon as one perceives a monster in a monster, one begins to domesticate it’........... 1 Audio-visual installation .................................................................................................... 4 The Performance .............................................................................................................. 5 Conclusion ........................................................................................................................ 8 Chapter 2. Project Documentation ............................................................................ 10 Appendix A (Aesthetic) Explorations of the Grotesque and the Uncanny ............. 16 1. Introduction ................................................................................................................. 16 2. Subverting the “normal” .............................................................................................. 17 3. The Grotesque ............................................................................................................ 22 4. The Uncanny ............................................................................................................... 26 5. Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 31 Bibliography .................................................................................................................... 32

Appendix B Domesticating Monsters; Promo Video ..................................................... 34 Appendix C Domesticating Monsters; video documentation ........................................ 35

vi

List of Figures Figure 1. Installation; view of 3 screens. Sarah Ferguson/Cathy Falkner ...................... 4 Figure 2. Installation; view of 3 screens. Andrew Laurenson/Iris Heitzinger/ Lisa Andronyk. .................................................................................................. 5 Figure 3 Screenshot of workflow sound composition Lara Abadir. Logic Pro. .............. 8 Figure 4 Poster by Ioana Sandor ................................................................................ 10 Figure 5 Installation; view of 3 screens Lisa Andronyk/Andrew Laurensen/ Jordan Houston-Jones ............................................................................ 11 Figure 6 Installation; picture taken of singular screen. Cathy Falkner/Sarah Ferguson ................................................................................................. 11 Figure 7 Installation; view of 3 screen. Tom Quirk/Iris Heitzinger/ Jordan Houston ................................................................................................... 12 Figure 8 Performance; opening battling scene. ........................................................... 12 Figure 9 Performance. Tada Ozumi/Monica Trejbal/Luis Canton ................................ 13 Figure 10 Performance. Kenneth Tynan/Tada Ozumi/Monica Trejbal ......................... 13 Figure 11 Performance. Monica Trejbal ....................................................................... 13 Figure 12 Performance. Monica Trejbal/Luis Canton .................................................. 14 Figure 13 Performance. Eddy van Wyk/Luis Canton/Monica Trejbal .......................... 14 Figure 14 Performance. Luis G. Canton ...................................................................... 14 Figure 15 Performance. Lara A. Abadir/ Kenneth Tynan ............................................. 15 Figure 16 Performance. Eddy Van Wyk ....................................................................... 15

vii

Chapter 1. Defence Statement: Domesticating Monsters ‘As soon as one perceives a monster in a monster, one begins to domesticate it’1 As an interdisciplinary artist and performer, my work lands at the intersection between theatre, dance, film and sound design. Over the course of my time as a MFA student at Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts, my artistic and academic research has been examining how society displays what our dominant culture seeks to repress or even sanitize.

‘What is normal?’ and the reverse, ‘what is

abnormal?’ have been recurring questions sparked by my fascination with the borderline areas beyond socialized identity. I am drawn to the confused boundaries that overthrow certain claims about identity. I question how one allocates identity when dealing with the perception of eccentricity as well as the absurd, the grotesque, the uncanny and the bizarre? This cumulative research process has resulted in the creation of two final works that comprise my graduating project, Domesticating Monsters.

Both pieces are

interconnected through their underlying themes and the overarching research process; both propose questions about identity and social behavior exposed by body language and speech.

One is an audio-visual installation presented across several screens

creating multiple viewpoints, alternately supported or juxtaposed by an original sound collage, the other is a staged live performance made up of a cast of 5 interdisciplinary performers that evolves from the installation.

1

Derrida, Jacques.

1

In both pieces the performers physicalize issues on reading facial expressions, lying, attraction, acceptance, and disembodiment. Domesticating Monsters’ content was inspired by a compilation of YouTube videos that cover a range of topics such as a series of body language tutorials on ‘how to become a human lie detector’, ‘mastering the art of attraction’, ‘how to look skinny in pictures’ and ‘power poses for business’. Other topics include unsettling home videos, also broadcast over the Internet, which expose exhibitionism as well as vulnerability and social isolation.

A further point of

interest is the presentation by Sergio Canavero, an Italian surgeon, who shamelessly sells us the idea of the first head body transplantation

2

This myriad of audio-visual and written tutorials and personal videos in the public domain concentrate on strengthening the divide between that physical expression which could be considered more authentic and spontaneous, and the behavior we should adopt to further our desired role in society’s (micro) choreographies. The abundance of body language tutorials found in self-help literature as well as in the form of YouTube videos (or even TED conference talks) reminds us of the “necessity” of order and exemplifies the domestication process of physical expression. Seen in this light, these body language tutorials equally reveal that underneath the façade we all are “monsters” in need of guidance and tools to come across as ‘normal’. Domesticating

Monsters

implies

a

sanitization

process

through

expressivity of society’s subjects is homogenized into a codified bodily canon.

which The

overarching thesis title is derived from a Derridean quote: ‘As soon as one perceives a monster in a monster, one begins to domesticate it3. Accordingly, one cannot say ‘here are our monsters, without immediately turning them into pets’ 4. In other words, as soon as we label a monster “as such” we are in effect already comparing it to the norms, analyzing it and consequently attempting to master whatever could be terrifying in this figure of the monster.

2

Scheduled for 2017. Derrida, Jacques. Points….:Interviews, 1974-1994. p.386 4 Ibid, 80. 3

2

Throughout, my research, terminology such as the grotesque and the uncanny 5

has proven particularly relevant when considering displaying the suppressed, the “ugly”

and/or the embarrassing that underlie society.

Derived from the German term

‘unheimlich’ as ‘the name for everything that should have remained secret and hidden but has come to light, the uncanny here resonates with the concealment of our intrinsic ‘weirdness’ and more authentic choreographies of expression. Domesticating Monsters banks on the interplay between the visible and invisible, or the idiosyncratic language our body and voice expresses, which is suppressed and conditioned. When taken under the loop, both states commingle the familiar with the unfamiliar, leaving the observer with an unsettling feeling of uncertainty and a series of questions in terms of the authenticity of their own physical or emotional state. Further research into the uncanny brought me to the simulation of facial expressions in the field of technology.

Here the term is adopted and originally

hypothized by Masahito Mori in ‘The Uncanny Valley” which indicates the graph which represents the correspondence between familiarity and likeability when considering our responses to ‘animated, high-fidelity, human-like, talking-head, virtual characters’.6 The hypothesis postulates that the more the figures or characters faces simulate human movement, though not completely, the more likely the observer will experience a feeling of the uncanny and discomfort. In Domesticating Monsters the installation, the faces are so recognizable and similar to ours (familiar) and yet represent subtle differences that indicate the artificiality or fictional aspect of their features (unfamiliar). My methodology seeks to create a sophisticated balance between comedy, the grotesque and the uncanny. Centered on the feeling that something is unsettlingly odd and coupled with a sense of un-decidability and humor. My practice aims to yield and challenge the conventional categorizations of voyeurism, empathy, identification or exploitation. Through my interest in voice work and sound design, my creative process is anchored by creating a layered score that helps me move to the visual and live support materials. 5 6

As theorized by Freud in his 1919 essay. Masschelein Anneleen. The Unconcept: The Freudian Uncanny in Late-Twentieth-Century Theory. (University of New York Press 2012) 49.

3

Audio-visual installation In the audio-visual installation of Domesticating Monsters we are confronted with recurring footage of 2 individuals with their faces fully covered in clay. The interjections of this somewhat bizarre footage feels out of place as it differs in cinematography and content compared to the rest of the projected videos. Aside from different camera angles and the less dramatic lighting, the footage also juxtaposes in that no longer can witness the tide of thoughts and emotions that ripple across the face (with the exception of the eyes). The clay face characters lack the momentary changes in expression and fleeting facial gestures. As a result, the subtle articulations of personality now solely can be read through the body as a whole as well as through the relationship and positioning amongst the two characters. Remshardt

7

remarks that when the body is represented with ‘the

total absence of the face… it ‘challenges us to read the image as a whole, withholding any trace of animate humanity’. As a result, ‘the experience is primarily uncanny and grotesque’ (2004; 35).

Figure 1.

Installation; view of 3 screens. Sarah Ferguson/Cathy Falkner

The audio-visual installation shows close-up footage of individuals’ faces. Here the camera examines the microscopic as well as the more visible aspects of an individual’s emotional and physical state. These images evoke many questions for me: Do we alter the meaning behind an expression when we hold, magnify and scrutinize it? To what level of accuracy can we detect and articulate (hidden) mental states? Do any of these body language tutorials effectively help us read body language, detect liars or even further our social relationships? Despite my extensive research into the specificity of physiological responses during emotion as well as the ‘universality of emotion recognition’. I am left with the feeling that I am not fully capable of taking in the vast 7

Remshardt Ralf. Staging the Savage God. The Grotesque in Performance. (2004) 35.

4

amount of cues and micro gestures whilst simultaneously maintaining present and interactive. The face is an extreme site of semiotic compression, so whether it be with or without the help of these tutorials, how much of our perception resorts into guesswork, assumptions and attributional biases?

Figure 2.

Installation; view of 3 screens. Andrew Laurenson/Iris Heitzinger/ Lisa Andronyk.

Domesticating Monsters the installation aims to underline the discrepancies between what is expressed and what is being perceived and read. Just as with the outlandish clay faces, the footage and audio inspired by the first head transplantation underlines the fragmentation of the body and the sense of uncanniness that arises when the body becomes a hybrid chimera. The prospect of having a new body to replace your dysfunctional one speaks to the longstanding mind and body divide. How does one reeducate or perhaps ‘domesticate’ a body that doesn’t originally belong to you? According to Dr. Canavero, this minor issue can easily be overcome with a few months of virtual reality training. Domesticating Monsters playfully links the re-education or training of the new chimera’s body to the sanitization process through body language tutorials.

The Performance Domesticating Monsters the performance creates a non-linear narrative that unfolds from one image/scene to the next creating a sort of no man’s land between comedy and tragedy. In this live performance, a group of 6 very diverse and quirky movers and actors embody the juxtaposition of different notions of ‘monsters’ in terms verbal and nonverbal communication.

Here the body language tutorials serve as a basis for 5

choreography as well as character study. As part of the devising process and with aim of providing subtle hints of non-linear narratives, each performer was given a distinct character to study. These sources of inspiration, mainly found on YouTube channels, vary from the awkward and vulnerable social media victim publicly asking for social approval to Flash Fontanelli who shares his 6 Body Language Secrets to attract women. As to avoid any obvious stereotypes and typecasting, each role was carefully given to the individual cast members with the least apparent similarity to the person portrayed. I often use characters in the grey borderline zone of being freaks. These so-called “freak” characters are usually lovable despite the ambiguity and contradictory aspects of their physicality and character.

I am interested in erasing the perception of the freak as

“other” in the hope that, through confrontation with these fluid characters, my audience can identify what parts of their own being or identity is constructed. Through improvisations and research, the cast and I spent time identifying common patterns in our body language in the ways we express ourselves in different situations. This material then was deconstructed and treated choreographically in order to display synchronized normal and abnormal/ authentic gestures though the medium of dance and physical theater. I am choreographically interested in the untrained body- or idiosyncratic gestures that fall between the conditioned patterns we digest. Here lay my main motivation and challenge, to create and direct a live performance with a cast of amateur performers who could highlight the ‘rashes and tics’ or rather, the idiosyncratic physicality of the subjects. With an underlying awareness of the danger of stereotypes, I use the idiosyncrasy of my performers to embody the imperfections and contradictions of human nature and thus aspire at offering a perhaps more authentic version of ‘body language’ than the sanitized one. Despite being drawn to a repertory of body language that appears more authentic, or perhaps less constructed, Domesticating Monsters does not seek to portray reality nor does it claim to represent ‘authenticity’. Rather, it banks on the gap between life and stage, between natural and theatricalized action.

8

According to Burns8,

Burns, E. “Acting,” in Theatricality. A Study of Convention in the Theatre and in Social Life. New York: Harper & Row, 1972, pp.144-183.

6

‘theatricality’ occurs when behavior is not natural or spontaneous but composed according to a rhetorical and authenticating conventions to achieve a particular effect on the viewer. Thus from this perspective, ‘theatricality’ cannot be regarded as selfcontained as it relies on the idea of something specifically displayed for the spectator. Considering the mediatized nature of the source material (Youtube videos) there already exists an initial actor-spectator relationship leading to a first instance of theatricality and performativity. Then, the material undergoes another phase of transformation, deepening the complexity of the rhetoric (signs, codes, conventions, processes) to be identified by the spectator. Here another layer of theatricality is inscribed through the adaptation of the mediatized source material. As described by Feral9, theatricality aims at ‘making a disjunction in systems of signification, in order to substitute other, more fluid ones.’ Through the live representation of Youtube videos, the existing signs signify differently and a new performative and fictive event is created. In spite of being twice removed from its source, there is still a part of the performance, which can always be perceived as ‘real’: the bodies on stage evolve, make gestures and movements. Feral also states how ‘every object or event being represented is inscribed both in reality (by the very bodies of the actors as well as by the actions taking place there) and in the fiction (since the simulated actions and events usually refer to a fiction)’. As Esslin put it, we are faced with ‘a sliding scale of reality’10. Bernard11 stresses the profound duality that theatricality inscribes upon the body: it ‘gives itself over to the other, is aware of itself as other, while remaining the same.’ Goffman’s12 writings examine how individuals pursuing their own real interests, present themselves via the same techniques as actors staging a character. Following this line of thought, we could say that we realize our very individuality in “real” life by mostly

9

Feral, J. Foreword in SubStance. Special Issue: Theatricality 98/99 (Volume 31, Number 2&3), 2002 10 Esslin, M. The Age of Television. California: Stanford, 1981 p.11-13 11 Bernard, M. ‘Esthétique et théâtralité du corps. Entretien avec Michel Bernard,’ Quel Corps? no. 34/35, May 1988, pp. 2-21. 12 Goffman, E. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959

7

theatrical techniques. Here we are reminded of Butler13 who stresses that subjectivity is ‘performatively constituted’ precisely by codified social behavior. In an effort to navigate the audience’s gaze back and forth between the tangled complementarity between the everyday space and the theatrical, Domesticating Monsters stresses the ambiguous nature of social codified behavior, be it framed through Youtube videos or theatricalized on stage. Domesticating Monsters, in both pieces, is accompanied by an equally important eclectic audio assemblage. Both audio compositions are made up of voices- both real and fictional, often distorted- in combination with music and atmospheric sounds. This methodology resonates Bakhtin’s Theory of Dialogism: at the ‘intersection of multiple voices’ – coined by the term Heteroglossia –‘a plurality of consciousness, a dynamic event that involves struggle and contradiction manifests itself.’14

Figure 3

Screenshot of workflow sound composition Lara Abadir. Logic Pro.

Conclusion Are we ever truly able to read the image of the body as whole? When presented with the expressivity of the face, are we actually ever fully capable interpreting the instabilities and the co-relation between the different layers of expression? A single cue can mean a myriad of things, so to what extent are we prone to modifying and adapting 13 14

Butler, J. Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. New York: Routledge, 1996. Auslander, P. Theory for Performance Studies. A Student’s Guide. Routledge, 2008; 41.

8

the incoming information as to fit this data into schemas dealing with Identity? We take audio-visual information in, but the real image is completed in our minds and usually follows the above-mentioned domestication/categorization process. This project proposes that we are all so-called “monsters”, though all varying in the degree in which of we display our idiosyncratic physicality. Accordingly, the borders between the public and the private act as a buffer between the categorization of what is considered normal and marginal or grotesque non-verbal and verbal expression. In both the installation as the performance, the ‘Frankenstein creature’ problematizes the body as both a site where norm (codified language) as well as idiosyncratic expression is defined. Domesticating Monsters creates an enquiry that leaves the viewer with openended questions rather than a sense of truth or character of the individuals portrayed. Interested in how the viewer’s response reveals their own notions of identity and social constructs, the work questions what we do when there is a clash between the data and our schemas.

9

Chapter 2.

Project Documentation

Figure 4

Poster by Ioana Sandor

10

Figure 5

Installation; view of 3 screens Lisa Andronyk/Andrew Laurensen/ Jordan Houston-Jones

Figure 6

Installation; picture taken of singular screen. Cathy Falkner/Sarah Ferguson

11

Figure 7

Installation; view of 3 screen. Tom Quirk/Iris Heitzinger/ Jordan Houston

Figure 8

Performance; opening battling scene.

12

Figure 9

Performance. Tada Ozumi/Monica Trejbal/Luis Canton

Figure 10

Performance. Kenneth Tynan/Tada Ozumi/Monica Trejbal

Figure 11

Performance. Monica Trejbal

13

Figure 12

Performance. Monica Trejbal/Luis Canton

Figure 13

Performance. Eddy van Wyk/Luis Canton/Monica Trejbal

Figure 14

Performance. Luis G. Canton

14

Figure 15

Performance. Lara A. Abadir/ Kenneth Tynan

Figure 16

Performance. Eddy Van Wyk

15

Appendix A (Aesthetic) Explorations of the Grotesque and the Uncanny 1. Introduction My research begins as a response to my fascination the borderline areas beyond socialized identity and therefore examines what precisely it is about those beings and situations, which challenge the (flexible) concepts of normalcy. How can the uncanny and the grotesque function as critical tool to reflect upon issues concerning notions of subjectivity, norm and reality? This paper does not offer an inventory of the required criteria or characteristics to locate the uncanny and the grotesque in an artwork and/or the susceptible viewer. However, the concepts will be traced and contextualized through examples within a variety of artistic disciplines in order to respect the ambiguities and shifts the terminology manifests across the line. Free of didactic content, my interdisciplinary art practice doesn’t aim to shock or provoke any significant cultural transgressions. Rather, it is centered on the feeling that something is unsettlingly odd, coupled with a sense of un-decidability and humor. The concepts of the grotesque and the uncanny arise through the juxtaposition and interpellation of these ‘constructed’ and ‘authentic’ layers of expression, the combination of the familiar with the unfamiliar and the real and fictional. In Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud states “artistic play and artistic imitation carried out by adults, which unlike children’s, are aimed at an audience, do not spare the spectators (for instance in tragedy) the most painful experiences and can yet be felt by them as highly enjoyable.” (1922; 17) The audience’s response to my work is usually fractured: at times distressing and unnerving whilst remaining fascinating and alluring. 16

Rather than have clearly defined meanings drawn for them, a non-linear narrative usually unfolds from one image/scene to the next encouraging the audience to construct their own reading of the whole. It is my interest in the multiple layers of identity that plays an important role in constructing hybrid images of the human body that aim to evoke an uncanny (and at times, grotesque) effect within the viewer. Here, the editing process plays a significant role in influencing our understanding of subjectivity and the unstable body as it enables the body to be manipulated and scrutinized (at times to the extent of being ‘grotesque’). However, the notions of identity are not solely problematized through the distortion and fragmentation of the imagery (presented through photography/video/performance): the visual aspect of my work is accompanied by an equally important eclectic audio assemblage. This audio composition tends to be made up of voices- both real and fictional, often distorted- in combination with music and atmospheric sounds. This methodology resonates Bakhtin’s Theory Of Dialogism: at the ‘intersection of multiple voices’ – coined by the term Heteroglossia- ‘a plurality of consciousness’, ‘a dynamic event’ that ‘involves struggle and contradiction’ manifests itself (Auslander: 41). The tension between the sound and imagery is a strategy to create a whole that commingles the familiar and the unfamiliar, mapping out an in-between space that captures the uncertainties of ‘what is reality’ and what is constructed. It is these tensions that bring about an overarching feeling of being on an uncanny journey- a ‘trip’ that unites my work as whole.

2. Subverting the “normal” The strategy of disrupting the borders of what is private versus public seems to reveal the construction of a social identity. Issues of social alienation and deviance more than often marginalize and suppress behavior than defies boundaries and question normative ideas of the self. Hereby, the ‘private’ usually performs as a site where one can be their ‘authentic’ self, displaying the intrinsic grotesqueness as well as the complexity and fluidity of one’s identity. In contrast, we seem to adapt our ‘authentic’ behavior to a sanitized social dance, partially built up by ‘social mimicry’, whenever in 17

public. The concept of the grotesque refers to an ambiguous category for analysis as it speaks to debates over stigmatization and normalcy. In other words, to understand ‘grotesquerie’ in all its complexity ‘we must acknowledge that it provokes two key questions: ‘what is normal?’ and by extension, ‘what is abnormal?’’. (Grauland; 8) These questions are posed but not easily answered and, as result, they lead to the ambivalence about the abnormal. (Grauland; 8). Here I am reminded of the quirky embodiment of the main characters of British cineaste’s film Career Girls (Mike Leigh, 1997). ‘In Career Girls we see a lot of signs of physical distress, like rashes and tics, that literally ‘flesh out’ the characters, what about that?’ (An interviewer asks)- Leigh :‘it’s no big deal…we’re all susceptible to tics and twitches of some kind or the other. That’s idiosyncratic, and that’s how people are.’ (Watson ;187). However, here Movshovitz argues that the representation of film characters usually has ‘[…] the twitches, tics and behavior and physical characteristics and defects removed and sort of blanded and bleached out of existence’ (Watson ;187). So, if, like Mike Leigh states ‘that’s how people are’, then why do we see so little of it? How much of our public behavior and movement has been sanitized to fit a particular culture’s codes and norms? In term of my own creative practice, I’m very interested in highlighting the ‘rashes and tics’ or rather, the idiosyncratic physicality of the subjects I portray. It is exactly the imperfections and contradictions of human nature that offer the authenticity that lies closer to what I perceive as reality than the sanitized version. Obviously, this relationship towards certain subjects is ambiguous as I constantly shift between self-identification, voyeurism and self-questioning. These shifts are equally some of the responses I inspire to evoke in my audience so as to avoid the binary categorization of normalcy of the portrayed subjects. When investigating the social boundaries of ‘normalcy’, the term ‘freak’ also surfaces in order to indicate social “misfits” and the marginalized. Sinwell points out that even ‘though freaks are often associated with circuses, freak shows etc., freaks are also associated with those characteristics of identity that defy boundaries and question normative ideas of the self’(2012; 113). Following the above understanding of the term

18

‘freak’, Sinwell goes on to say that Harmony Korine’s controversial Gummo (‘97) ‘can be imagined as a more contemporary version of Todd Browning’s film Freaks (‘32)’: ‘rather than being present only within the circus culture, freaks are now present in every day life’. The categorization of the characters in the idea of the “freak” is linked to the construction of these characters’ bodies, identities and subjectivities (2012; 113). Gummo can be considered as an interrogation of ‘representations of poor white trash and queerness’ as it ‘blurs the normative categories associated with race, class, gender and sexuality’. (Sinwell; 113). She further refers to Matt Wray’s consideration of the term ‘white trash’ as a category that ‘transgresses boundaries between purity and impurity, morality and immorality, cleanliness and dirt’ (Sinwell; 114) Another important aspect of this non-linear controversial film is the idea that the above mentioned representations and ambiguous categorizations are ‘not only written onto the narrative of the film itself, but they are also written onto the bodies and subjectivities of Xenia’s children’ (Sinwell; 114). Sinwell adds that ‘Gummo breaks down stylistic and narrative binaries as a means of constructing the child in relation to the freakish and the normal’. (2013; 108) Stylistically and thematically, Gummo has inspired my practice for years. The quote below, by film critic Felicia Feaster, speaks loudly to my inspiration and certain interests within my research: Using found footage, a verite style mixed with unnervingly distorted imagery, Korine employs technique as Francis Bacon's paint evoked tissue and blood, as yet another indication of his thematic sickness. Blurring out characters' faces or fluttering hysterically around them like a swarming insect, Korine slices the world up, making its people into monsters so that the only truth can seem fleeting and dream-like: Did it happen, or did we just dream it after a huffing binge? (Feaster; 42) Diane Arbus, an American photographer, is known for her black-and-white photography

of

"deviant

and

marginal

people

(dwarfs, giants, transgender

people, nudists, circus performers) or of people whose normality seems ugly or surreal". Arbus was well aware of her ‘own contradictory attitudes towards her subjects that problematize her desire to identify with them’: “…Freaks…I don’t quite mean they’re my best friends but they make me feel a mixture of shame and awe. There’s a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle” (Arvan; 72). 19

This ambiguous relationship towards her subjects seems to be an important aspect when considering the uncanny aura that her photographs emit. Here, Royle’s explanation of how ‘the uncanny involves a feeling of uncertainty, in particular regarding the reality of who one is and what is being experienced’ seems particularly relevant. Arvan argues that Arbus’ ‘fascination and repulsion towards freaks also suggests envy and even a repressed identification with them that resembles Freud’s concept of the unheimlich’ (see p.); […] they appear as guides to alternate, sometimes aberrants, worlds often repressed in the minds of mainstream society. (2003; 72) She further specifies how ‘the social outcast is himself a manifestation of the repressed, and is ostracized for his power to induce an uneasy identification’. Following this analysis, one could consider Arbus’s project to photograph and exhibit freaks as an ‘added dimension of awakening the repressed in the viewers of her images’ (2003; 73). I often use characters in the grey borderline zone of being freaks. These socalled “freak” characters are usually lovable despite the ambiguity and contradictory aspects of their physicality and character. I am interested in erasing the perception of the ‘freak’ as “Other” in the hope that, through confrontation with these fluid characters, my audience can identify what parts of their own being or identity is constructed. Another film seemingly invested in blurring the binary ‘normal/abnormal’ is Todd Solondz’ dark comedic drama Happiness (1998). Professor of Film Studies, Stella Bruzzi sensitively writes about the film pointing out that what the film deconstructs is the very idea of normativity itself: ‘what Happiness constructs is a mosaic of sexual perversity that renders perversity “normal”- simply by virtue of its prevalence’ (Bruzzi 2005; 185, Richardson; 182). Consequently, Bill, the pedophilic father, is not considered ‘as the only depraved or perverted monster in the film but rather the film seems to be saying that everyone is dysfunctional’ (Richardson: 182) My short film Colette (2002) explores similar ideas. It is about a young girl who lives in a trailer with her (imaginary) baby sister after being abandoned by her mom. The story is centered on the ambiguous relationship between Colette and Arsene, a marginal middle-aged man whose interest in this young girl raises ethical questions. Though, however suspicious his motivations in terms of approaching this teenager, Arsene is

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mostly likeable, kind and at times funny in his quirky expressivity. Colette is equally ambiguous in her flirtations as well as in her “tales” about her family life. Both are social outcasts but neither are so off the chart that the identification with them would become impossible. Nevertheless, much as in Solondz’s work the “story” does not offer any resolutions in terms of clear-cut answers and categorizations that would result in casting Arsene as a dysfunctional or malicious person.

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3. The Grotesque As an icon of cultural signification, the body has no equal (Remshardt; 31) The grotesque is an ambiguous category for analysis. In his book Grotesque, Grauland discusses how the ‘ab/normal aspects of the grotesque, and the provocative way in which that lack of normality is represented’, have inspired critics to condemn the term as a marker of what is ‘uncivilized’, which they blame for the reinscription of ‘the distinctions between the norm and its deviations in order to preserve marked distinctions between ‘us’, ‘them’, ‘self and other’’(2003; 9). However, Grauland challenges these accusations through the assertion that the grotesque can be identified ‘as a creative force that opens up an indeterminate space’. Hereby, he still acknowledges the lack of uncertainty of this unresolved area where ambiguities, juxtapositions incompatible notions meet. Though, rather than depriving this uncertain territory of meaning, he emphasizes how the grotesque in literature and visual arts allows for multiple readings. (2013). It is precisely this consideration of the concept of the grotesque -as an ‘indeterminate space’ which ultimately allows for ‘multiple readings’- which ties into my interest in the audience’s fractured response to my work. The delicate and measured investment of this aesthetic seems to enable the audience to construct idiosyncratic readings of the fragmented and ‘disorderly’ whole. In my practice, my creative methodology

has

been

strongly

influenced

by

my

education

as

a

director/cinematographer: I understand the significant role of composition and editing process as tools to manipulate and scrutinize the body. This, in combination with my movement/practice, allows me to play with the notions of the unstable body through distortion and fragmentation. The grotesque, in the terms of information theory, ‘gravitates towards a state of zero-redundancy’: it ‘bars itself from rapid comprehension and categorization by proving strongly disorderly’. In accordance, Remshardt theorizes that ‘representations with the lowest degree of informational redundancy lend themselves most easily to the occurrence of the grotesque’ (Remshardt; 22). In terms of what in art visually constitutes 22

the concept of ‘grotesque’ Grauland explains how its characteristics of ‘distortion’, disproportion and incongruity lie in juxtaposition with conceptions of classical aesthetics where bodies and figures are represented as ‘unified, harmonious and well-proportioned’ (2013; 37). As a result, art that explores the grotesque can be considered as an interrogation society’s definitions of our bodies. Schneider quotes Judith Halberstam as he asserts that "the body that scares and appalls changes over time, as do the individual characteristics that add up to monstrosity, as do the preferred interpretations of monstrosity", is ‘historically and culturally contingent’. (1999). Equally, in order to understand the grotesque, the work must be placed and understood in relation to the socio-historical context in which it is produced. (Grauland; 12) In Grotesque, Grauland further postulates that ‘the grotesque is hybrid, transgressive and always in motion’ (2013; 15). Consequently, that ‘which is considered grotesque is tied to an historical context. (Grauland; 12) ‘The monster...is an embodiment of a certain cultural moment—of a time, a feeling, and a place." (Schneider; 1999) When I consider my fear of monsters as a child, I am reminded of those years of nightmares caused by an overly active and curious mind. However, my perception of what classified as a ‘monster’ didn’t usually consist of what visually tend to constitute as a grotesque body. The monsters I imagined invading my home where psychopaths with no ‘visual’ signs of the grotesque. It was the darkness and discrepancy with what lies beneath a sanitized façade, which evoked the feeling of a ‘grotesque’ psyche underneath a clean surface. Here the grotesque intersects with a feeling of the uncanny (unheimlich), a concept I will elaborate in the following chapter. The Russian critic Mikhail Bakhtin work on the carnival and the grotesque offers a model to understand the ‘multitude of discursive and cultural forms that the transgressive can assume’ (Wall; 280). Bakhtin describes the Carnival as a spectacle that ‘isn’t seen by the people; they live in it and everyone participates because its very idea embraces all the people. While carnival lasts, there is no other life outside of it.’ (1984; 7) This description explains how in the era of the Renaissance and Medieval times, the carnival was a temporary collective happening. It was a ‘universal’ celebration that subverted the current hierarchies and was focused on overthrowing the ‘new bodily canon’. In other words, it was the conception of the body as ‘an entirely finished, completed, strictly limited 23

body, which is shown from the outside as something individual,’ (Bakhtin, 1968; 320) that were temporarily subverted and overthrown. So, in a way, the carnival can be seen as a means to return to the previous notions of the body ‘that dominated European popular culture from the Middle Ages to the Baroque’: a body that ‘protrudes, bulges sprouts, or branches off (when a body transgresses its limits and a new one begins)’ (Benthien; 38) The grotesque body… is a body in the act of becoming. It is never finished, never completed: it is continually built, created, and builds and creates another body. Moreover, the body swallows the world and is itself swallowed by the world.(Bakhtin, 1936:317) I consider my work ‘carnivalesque’ in its use of vibrant imagery and colour, the use bizarre costumes and props as well the multiplicity of characters that subtly morph and transgress from one body into the next. The use of vocalizations often crosses into the grotesque –both on stage and in my filmic projects, stressing the carnivalesque nature of my work. In this respect, the otherwise contained voice ‘protrudes, bulges sprouts, or branches off’ and exceeds the limits of the body, opening up the polyvocality and fluidity of our identities. The Bakhtinian Carnival is adverse to ‘normative’ social order and allows a temporary ‘breaking free’ from social constraints (Auslander, 2008). However, when considering the transgressive power that grotesque and the carnivaleque hold, Mary Russo maintains that ‘the excesses and reversals [of women] in the carnivalesque can also operate to reaffirm the status quo, granting sanctioned and contained occasions for transgression that can then be de-activated (Grauland; 15). Chris Jenks relates the concept of transgression to that of excess: ‘it is in the very exceeding of limits, rules, and boundaries – the breaking of taboo –that the transgressive resides.’ However, he also postulates that even though transgression successfully ‘opens up the chaos’, it equally ‘reminds of the necessity of order’. (2003; 7) Here I am reminded of The Idiots (1998), a Danish Dogme film by Lars Von Trier where the film’s characters ‘perform’ mental impairment in public, and often bourgeois, places and create chaos. Their goal is to ‘break through to some pure emotional truth’ by performing the ‘inner idiot lost beneath the urban professional façade’ (Badley; 60). In her studies of this contemporary director, Badley recognizes a clear exploration of the Bakhtinian ‘carnivalesque reversal of bourgeois norms’ and the ‘disruption of public 24

versus private borders’. Later on in the film, the group of “idiots” disperse and their experiment fails, which seems to expose the limitations of performance, which Badley explains, like Carnival, is ‘primarily an escape valve for elements and impulses repressed by the dominant culture’ (2010; 66). Moreover, the failure of the experiment, within the narrative, seems to reveal how the ‘stagnation by breaking the rule’, ensures ‘stability by reaffirming the rule’ (Jenks; 7). Overall, my work doesn’t purposefully contain any didactic content, nor does it aim to shock or provoke without countering the experience with a healthy dose of humor. Films like The Idiots, Gummo or Happiness can also evoke laughter, but perhaps such a response operates more as a defense mechanism or a safety valve against the overwhelming feeling of discomfort and apprehension. Tudor discusses the safety-valve theory of the pleasures of horror: ‘they are both a means of dealing with renunciation of instincts’. (LeDrew: 2006). According to this theory, ‘the psychical processes and mechanisms of pleasure are so similar that there is a fine line between what might be experienced as comic and what might be experienced as horrific’. (LeDrew: 2006) My methodology searches a sophisticated balance between comedy, the grotesque and the uncanny. Here, like in many other areas of my practice, I usually am guided by intuition considering the lack of a fixed understanding of what constitutes as ‘funny’. O’neill agrees with Thompson in that it is ‘precisely the element of balanced horror and comedy that defines the grotesque’. He clarifies that when lacking this balance, ‘the grotesque shades off into either broad and harmless comedy or unadultered horror’. The grotesque […] is a sort of no man’s land between comedy and tragedy. (2010; 94)

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4. The Uncanny ‘What is heimlich… comes to be unheimlich’ (Freud, The “Uncanny”; 1919)

“By common consent, the theoretical explanation for the current fascination with the concept is Freud’s 1919 essay, ‘The Uncanny’” (Jay 1989; 157, Masschelein; 3). Freud’s essay was an elaboration and development of an earlier dated paper (1906) on the subject of the uncanny by Ernst Jentsch, where he hypothesized that the essential factor responsible for the production of uncanny feelings is intellectual uncertainty, where one cannot distinguish between what is real or unreal and which objects are alive or dead. However, Freud urges that ‘we can only say that what is novel can easily become frightening and uncanny; some new things are frightening but not by any means all. Something has to be added to what is novel and unfamiliar to make it uncanny’ (1919; 2). Here he underlines that the uncanny is not simply an experience of strangeness and alienation. To support his case, Freud draws attention to the etymological ambiguity of the German translation of the word ‘uncanny’: ‘Unheimlich’. The latter is obviously ‘the opposite of heimlich, heimisch, meaning “familiar,” “native,” “belonging to the home”, thus we are tempted to conclude that what is “uncanny” is frightening precisely because it is not known and familiar’ (1919; 2). However, his research in the term indicates that ‘among its different shades of meaning the word heimlich exhibits one, which is identical with its opposite, unheimlich. As a result, Freud identifies unheimlich as ‘the name for everything that should have remained secret and hidden but has come to light, bringing anxiety in its train’ (Walsh; 21). In other words, the uncanny consists of specific ‘commingling of the familiar and the unfamiliar’. (Rolye; 2003). Here, I return to what I previously mention as the characteristics that in my childhood added up to the concept of monstrosity and fear. The invasion of a menace that lies beneath a familiar and so-called ordinary appearance (for example in psychopaths) gave way to severe anxiety that strongly resonated the unheimlich. 26

Art critic and curator Janice West asserts that ‘a sense of the uncanny can be particularly intensely felt when it arises unexpectedly within the surroundings of the home, when the homely is eclipsed by an impression of strangeness’. (Review: The Uncanny Room; 2002). In the same line of this assertion, Albano’s paper on fear chooses to explore those works of art that are centered on ‘the impinging anxieties that reverberates in everyday life, turning the domestic into menacing landscapes’ (2008). Albano exemplifies her research on the fear of the ordinary, the menace that inhabits the quotidian by investigating contemporary visual art works, which evoke a specific facet of the uncanny. Her descriptions resonate the ambiguity of the umheimlich in that they contain both the familiar and the unfamiliar: […]the apparent ordinariness of the exterior disguises a sinister atmosphere. The “familiarity” of the interiors, so perfectly duplicated, conveys a sense of displacement and of claustrophobic apprehension. The likeness of the inhabitants is also remarkable, as is their behavior, even in the most mundane acts. Who are the people who live in these houses? What is the secret that they hide? We, the visitors who have let ourselves in (literally by being given the key), are the intruders. We are the strangers in the scene. (Albano, 2008) Vidler theorizes that in certain a sense the uncanny ‘might be characterized as the quintessential bourgeois kind of fear’ and that it is ‘a sensation best experienced in the privacy of the interior’. This ‘contrast between a secure and homely interior and the fearful invasion of an alien presence; at the heart of the anxiety provoke by such alien presences was a fundamental insecurity’ have been popular motifs since modernity (1994; 4). Vidler further states that certain phobias (such as claustrophobia and agoraphobia) are ‘derived from anxieties produced by the spatial configurations of urban development’ of the twentieth century (1994; 6). Along the same vein, one can observe how ‘estrangement and unhomeliness have emerged as the intellectual watchwords of our century’ (Vidler; 9). In my own life, a diverse ethnic background combined with having lived in 7 different countries has definitely contributed to the identification with certain notions of estrangement and unhomeliness. As a consequence, these themes are usually somehow subtly integrated in my work; when roaming the streets with my camera to gather inspiration and/or

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visuals for my work, my eye and heart are without a doubt drawn to those subjects, objects and spaces which inherently contain a feeling of the unheimlich/ uncanny. Nicholas Royle is the first to have written a book length study on The Uncanny (2003). His ‘understanding of the term places him in a tradition of ‘uncanny thinking’, which fundamentally questions and destabilizes the status and possibility of concepts and the uncanny has become a concept that signals this questioning. (Masschelein; 2) Royle’s tentative definition exemplifies a contemporary and diverse take on the term: The uncanny can be a matter of something gruesome or terrible, above all death and corpses, cannibalism, live burial, the return of the dead. But it is also a matter of something strangely beautiful, bordering on ecstasy (‘too good to be true’), or eerily reminding us of something, like déjà vu. It can involve a feeling of something beautiful but at the same time frightening, as in the figure of the double or telepathy. It comes above all, perhaps, in the uncertainties of silence, solitude and darkness. The uncanny has to do with the sense of a secret encounter: it is perhaps inseparable from an apprehension, however fleeting, of something that should have remained secret and hidden but has come to light (2003; 2). Despite the vast territory of possible situations and manifestations of the uncanny, it seems that in terms of art making, the concept aims to draw the attention to the underlying anxieties of our times. Royle observes the similarities in anxieties prominent in both modernity and post-modernity: ‘the dopplergänger and automaton haunted modernity, for while clones and techno-human cyborgs haunt us.’ (2003; 37)

We live in a culture of fear and anxiety that is created by mass-media

representations and the saturation of imagery of disasters that are both man-made and natural. It seems as if a large portion of the uncanny in western society comes from beyond the field of humanities to the point where the field of technology has adopted the term to consider our responses to ‘animated, high-fidelity, human-like, talking-head, virtual characters’. (Masschelein; 149). Here, ‘uncanny’ doesn’t lie in line with the Freudian interpretation of the term but actually originates from the English translation of a 1970’s Japanese text by Masahito Mori: ‘The Uncanny Valley’ (= Bukimi No Tani).

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Masschelein explains how in the fields of robotics, cognitive science, and neuroscience the uncanny is measured by a graph*, which ‘represents the correspondence between familiarity and likeability’. The hypothesis formulated according to studies in the field postulates that the more the above mentioned figures/ characters (faces) simulate human movement, though not completely, the more likely the observer will experience a feeling of the uncanny and discomfort. Despite its indirect reference to Freud’s text (1919), the uncanny in this context still seems to be mainly a result of the unheimlich, thus a combination of the familiar and unfamiliar. These characters faces are so recognizable and similar to ours (familiar) and yet represent subtle differences that indicate the artificiality or fictional aspect of their features (unfamiliar). On a choreographic level, I examine the microscopic as well as the more visible aspects of an individual’s emotional and physical state, thus magnifying their instability and the co-relation between the different layers of expression. However, the face is obviously also an extreme site of semiotic compression. Thus, I’m equally invested in exploring the incongruities and uncanny when dealing with facial expressions. This is where the graph of The Uncanny Valley will most likely prove an interesting resource to gauge the responses to those sections of my work that focus on micro-expressions. Here again, the photo and video editing process adds an additional layer to my work, which plays with the fine line between the familiar/unfamiliar as well as the authentic/constructed. Paradoxically, Remshardt remarks that when the body is represented (fragmented or as a whole) with ‘the total absence of the face’, it ‘challenges us to read the image as a whole’, ‘withholding any trace of animate humanity’. As a result, ‘the experience is primarily uncanny and grotesque’ (2004; 35). Through extensive research on the aesthetic visualization of the uncanny, it has become quite apparent how art that doubles or deconstructs the body is often the main focus of visual artists. Masschelein confirms that the importance of the (human) figure is clearly a recurring element of the uncanny in the visual arts. Most exhibitions centered on the Freudian concept seem to display a collection of ‘images and sculptural figures and figurines, which belong to the classes of humanoid objects such as (wax) dolls,

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mannequin, stuffed dolls, giants, robots, body parts’. (Masschelein; 148). These representations of the body seem to attest to a crisis of selfhood and a questioning of the norms of what constitutes beauty as well as “reality” vs. the unreal or fantasy.

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5. Conclusion

Both the concept of the grotesque as that of the uncanny ‘depend on a conflict or confrontation based on the notion of incongruity or the juxtaposition of opposites’ without offering a resolution. (Grauland; 7). Moreover, both the uncanny as the grotesque ‘strive in the subversion of the pantheon of dominant cultural values and images; both reveal or point to a rupture in the self. (Weishaar; 147). Despite the fact that the uncanny and grotesque are not easily defined, they have demonstrated their importance and relevance in terms of recasting the boundaries by which attraction and repulsion can be defined. Moreover, art that explores these ambiguous territories can often be considered as an interrogation of society’s definitions of our bodies and our behavior, as well as a manifestation of the underlying anxieties of our times. The fragmentation as well as the artificial doubling of the body is a potent tool in stimulating a feeling of uncanniness in the viewer. Further, the layering of familiar with the unfamiliar (=unheimlich) has appeared as equally prominent in the quest to evoke this ambiguous sensation. Also, the expressivity of the face (or lack of it), as well as the in-between space that captures the uncertainties of ‘what is reality’ and what is constructed (as expressed in The Uncanny Valley), have demonstrated a strong potential in addressing the concepts of the uncanny (and the grotesque). As a result of this paper’s research, I am convinced of the efficiency of abovementioned strategies in revealing the intersections of peculiarities and discrepancies of our expressions and hybrid identities. In other words, this research has allowed me to intellectually indulge in those areas, which have demonstrated to be a fertile ground for core concepts in my past and upcoming art practice.

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Bibliography Albano, Caterina. Dossier. Uncanny: A Dimension in Contemporary Art. Esse (art + opinions) Vol. 62: Fear. Winter 2008. Montreal. Badley, Linda. Lars Von Trier. Contemporary Film Directors. University of Illinois Press, 2010 Bakhtin, M. M. Rabelais and His World (H. Iswolsky, Trans.). Cambridge, MA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1968. Bakhtin, M. M. Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics (C. Emerson, Trans. Vol. 8) University of Minnesota Press, 1984. Benthien, Claudia. Skin: On the Cultural Border Between Self and World. Columbia University Press, 2002 Feaster, Felicia. Gummo. Film Quarterly, Vol. 52, No.2 (Winter, 1998-1999), pp. 41-43. California Press 1998. Freud, Sigmund. Beyond The Pleasure Principle. Martino Fine Books 2010 (reprint of 1922 edition). Freud, Sigmund. The Uncanny (1919). Penguin Classics, 2003. Grauland, R, Edwards, J. Grotesque. Routledge UK, US, Canada 2013 Jenks, Chris. Transgression. Routledge, New York, 2003 LeDrew, Stephen. Jokes and Their Relation to the Uncanny: The comic, the horrific, and pleasure in Audition and Romero’s Dead films. PSYART: A Hyperlink Journal for the Psychological Study of the Arts. December 15, 2009. Available http://www.psyartjournal.com/article/show/ledrewjokes_and_their_relation_to_the_uncanny_. November 17, 2014 Masschelein, Anneleen. SUNY Series, Insinuations: Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, Literature : The Unconcept: The Freudian Uncanny in Late-Twentieth-Century Theory. State University of New York Press 2012 O’Neill, Patrick. The Comedy of Entropy: The Contexts of Black Humour (p. 79-101) in Dark Humor (eds. Bloom and Hobby). Blooms Literary Criticism, New York, 2010 Sinwell, Sarah E.S. Written On The Child: Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality in Gummo (p. 107-122) in Lost and Othered Children in Contemporary Cinema. Eds Olson and Scahill. Lexington Books, UK, 2012.

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Remshardt, Ralf. Staging the Savage God: The Grotesque in Performance. Southern Illinois University Press; 1st edition 2004. Richardson, Niall. Transgressive Bodies. Ashgate Pub Co, UK, USA, 2010. Royle, Nicholas. The Uncanny: An introduction. Manchester University Press, UK, 2011. Schneider, Steven. Monsters as (Uncanny) Metaphors: Freud, Lakoff, and the Representation of Monstrosity in Cinematic Horror. Other Voices, v.1, n.3, Philadelphia, 1999 Vidler, Anthony.The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely. The MIT Press; New edition 1994 Wall, David. Transgression, Excess, and the Violence of Looking in the Art of Kara Walker. Oxford Art Journal (2010) 33 (3): 277-299. Walsh, Maria. Art and Psychoanalysis. I.B. Tauris, London 2013. Watson, Garry. The Cinema of Mike Leigh: A Sense of the Real. Wallflower Press, London, 2004. Weishaar, Schuy R. Masters of the Grotesque: The Cinema of Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, the Coen Brothers and David Lynch. Mcfarland & Co Inc Pub, North Carolina, 2012. West, Janice. The Uncanny Room (exhibition review). Durham, 2002 http://www.ub.edu/gracmon/icdhs/docs/istanbul-dhs95-oct2002.pdf Williams, Gilda (ed.). The Gothic. Documents of Contemporary Art. The MIT Press; 1 edition, UK, 2007.

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Appendix B Domesticating Monsters; Promo Video Videography Daniel Wester/ Yves Candau Editing Daniel Wester

Description Promo video compiled of the documentation of two videographers present at the performances.

Filename Domesticating Monsters Promo Cut.mp4

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Appendix C Domesticating Monsters; video documentation Videography/ Editing Yves Candau

Description Video documenting Domesticating Monsters on September 27 2015, 1pm in Studio D, Goldcorps Center for the Arts (Vancouver, BC)

Filename Domesticating Monsters video doc-SD 480p.mov

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