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When finding something disgusting, grotesque or unbearable to look at, generally it would be associated with the likes of insects, rotten food, dead form of life and waste.
In this case with 'The Power of the Grotesque' series, body mutilation is the source of disgust.
However, for this particular project, it includes a somewhat an unusual approach to creating these images that will sure make the viewer turn away or feel uncomfortable to look at.


By combining images of certain parts of the Body along with images of Food, the outcome was able to show very gross and sickening depictions of the body.
Personally speaking, food and the body are two things that the majority of the people care about and love. Keeping up one's own appearance is important, people like to look good, attract eyes and feel good. Along with that, there is that great feeling of satisfying the palette of the mouth and filling up on an empty and hungry stomach.

THE DEFORMED TONGUE

WHAT WERE COMBINED TO CREATE THIS IMAGE?

The Deformed Tongue consists of two images that both contain sources of food. The food used are both Duck Liver Pâté with Mushrooms along with a steaming bowlful of stew. Both Pâté and stew aren't exactly pretty looking food but they are often food that people like the taste and smell of.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Next to the hands, the mouth is often regarded as the most bacteria infested part of the human body and while the aura of disgust is already there, it was to be further enhanced.
Very strange choice of food used for this piece, stew itself can appear disgusting depending on what way the individual looks at it, in any case, the stew is not presented luxuriously in this image, it looks quite off-putting, resembling to vomit and chewed up food that has not been digested yet.
Pâté personally is something that can be seen as a luxury to the well paletted, middle class, rich inviduals and for this piece it was to be challenged and broken down into being seen as disgusting and negative.
As Pâté is well known to be made from the liver of whatever animal it is presented as, in this case Duck Liver, the thought of that is enough to trigger disgust as it is something is taken from 'inside the body' which helps support Mary Douglas's argument on Abstract Art, which is discussed in the background information of the final piece below.
The Pâté was used to present the tongue in a very grotesque way, in which it looks as if it has been damaged and chunks coming out of the surface,


CRACKED SHREDDED SKIN

WHAT WERE COMBINED TO CREATE THIS IMAGE?

The first piece of work created, inspired and started off the whole series of 'The Power of The Grotesque' As seen from the image, the body part presented is the face merged with an image of shredded ham found in the fridge. 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The face is one of the main features of an average individual that is often referred to as the focal point of the human beauty. The face is used to convey emotions and expressions under different circumstances, whether it is flirting, telling a funny story or modelling etc.
In this project, the attractiveness of the face is to be challenged by destroying it, to disrupt the flowing soft smoothness of the skin that surrounds the human muscles and skull.
From newspaper articles and cannibal hoaxes surrounding the topic of what the taste of human meat would be similar to, the answers all pointed towards 'Pork' which of course is Pig.
Therefore, combining an image of a human body part with an image of ham provides a more unsettling approach to the overall image, as ham is food consumed massively by humans. As the image presents a zombie like quality to it, this brings the image to an even deeper level as it is not far off telling that the viewers are somewhat cannibalistic and zombie-like. While it may be unbearable to look at, the deeper analysis of it builds the disgust and the grotesque even further.


THE PEELING HAND

WHAT WERE COMBINED TO CREATE THIS IMAGE?

The Peeling Hand consisted of 3 images (1 extra than the rest of the pieces) which were of a hand, raw slices of bacon and a packet of raw beef. As seen in the image, all of the images combined were able to give off a really skin stripped, glisteningly raw fleshed hand and arm.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Hands, like the legs are used mostly to function in everyday life, to touch, to write, to greet people,to help ourselves and others etc. These body parts, along with legs, are used subconciously and are useful for everyday use, therefore it was an objective to turn it into something that would cause pain, horror and disbelief to the viewer. Hands suffer many injuries like scratches and papercuts, in result of this, the pain forces the owner to cry out, however what would the effect be if the hand was peeled from its skin? The thought of it is unbearable.
From the image, the hand as may be noticed, is quite dirty, this was to add a little more disgust to the overall image. The hands are often considered the most dirtiest parts of the body, they are in constant contact with bacteria, most of which is invisible to the eye. The people who bite their nails, suck their thumbs or handle food are unaware on how grotesque their 'beautiful looking' hands are and how they are bringing in the disgust inside their bodies.
The Power of the Grotesque, does not simply exist in these images but also physically and subliminally on ourselves and around us.


THE MELTING FEET

WHAT WERE COMBINED TO CREATE THIS IMAGE?

As can be seen, the picture depicts very clearly that it is an image of human feet.
The food combined to create this horrific effect was an image of porridge mixed with cereal, to give that lumpy, gooey and glistening effect.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Porridge and cereal are one of the most consumed food products in the world, especially in the mornings, as they are breakfast products. They are quick meals to make before heading out to door to start a busy day.
Not everyone think that feet are features of beauty from the body, however it can be agreed on how important their role are. Walking, running and playing sports etc, generally are what feet assist with / are designed for.
Although feet are a little tough, they still have sensitive areas due to our nerve system, flinching or crying out generally tend to happen when the feet our banged against a cabinet or standing on sharp objects.
What was intended to achieve in this image, is not only disgust the viewer with this idea of dirty, gloppy feet but also recoil in psychological pain. The aim is to make the viewer's feet tense up and make the individual instantly think 'I can't bear the idea of my feet turning out like that ! '

VOMIT

WHAT WERE COMBINED TO CREATE THIS IMAGE?

Although the image isn't that heavily edited, it was rather basic to produce as it was created in the process of previous image 'The Melted Feet.'  Like the previous image, the food used was porridge to smear over the mouth and beard.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

By smearing the porridge over the human mouth and beard, the outcome provided the idea, which appears obvious, that the subject has vomited.
Porridge, while it is a filling breakfast food to eat to get through the morning, does not exactly look pretty or appetising as it often gets compared to resembling vomit.
While the image was mostly captured in a single image, there is an image of porridge subtly resting on the shoulder of the human subject which was deliberately put there and looking slightly fake. The reason for doing that in this final image, was to show the viewer that the whole image series was heavily edited with images of food.
This image would be the only one of the images to present the style of Abject Art.
Abject Art is an art form, which British Athropologist Mary Douglas states '...that anything which is expelled from the body (menstrual blood, snot, urine, shit, vomit etc) is defined as unclean and subject to cultural taboo.' (Betterton, 1996, p.135)

Betterton, Rosemary (1996) An Intimate Distance: Women, Artists and The Body Oxon: Routledge.