Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Ero Guro Nansensu - Erotic, Grotesque,Nonsense

Something makes me want to shy away from making what might be thought a stereotypical assumption but make it I shall: what other nation could have invented this art form apart from the Japanese?
 
Ero Guro Nansensu combines elements I find fascinating if not a little disturbing. This though, the ability to whisk my emotional response into a froth of anxiety, is what much good art should do for in doing so it makes me think, makes me question. The answer I seek is this - are we in reality that far removed from enacting the images depicted? Do we not commit acts as vile and violent? As abhorrent as those shown in these images? And if the answer is uncomfortable then does that not in itself reveal a facet of our collective being that should be examined?
 
 Ero, Guru Nansensu is, as the title suggests the Japanese amalgamated and abbreviated English letters formed as though words that hint at the nature of this nineteen thirties artistic and literary movement. There can be no avoiding the impact it makes even in this seemingly enlightened century.
 
 
 
Over here in the West we tend to think when describing this art form as being pornographic or, failing that, horrific. It is neither even if what it portrays are often both. Much of if can horrify or even titillate but that is consequence of what it seeks to impart. Humanity, by its very nature is capable of creating great beauty, wonderful art yet conversely turns horrendous acts into pseudo works of perverse art. Torture springs to mind. The inventive way in which mankind devise the most evil of devices to enable extremes of pain and anguish. There seems to be this rubber necking view of such things, a morbid fascination with things we know to be wrong, that appal us yet conversely intrigue us.
 
 
In my opening I suggested that I was being stereotypical and I think that as true as it might be  to suggest applying a stereotype I also think that steeotype accurate  - generally speaking. Japan and the Japanese hold a deep fascination with cruelty and by default erotica. It also goes deeper as it appreciates beauty where the random acts of violence leave perverse patterns that can be used to describe exquisite shapes, shades and colours. At its best it removes itself from realism as it ascends from the perspective of the human capacity to ruin the blessing of life whilst depicting those deplorable acts as something almost surreal.  I guess it is not dissimilar to the films of Quentin Tarantino. 'Kill Bill' springs to mind as do 'Reservoir Dogs' and 'Pulp Fiction.' That juxtaposition of extremes.  Perhaps H.P. Lovecraft might be an equally good comparison to draw. Horror that not only chills the blood without having graphic scenes of said substance being spilt.

 
 
There is also that thin dividing line that lies between pain and pleasure. That moment when both seem attainable just before the moment of release. Where the rise of orgasm in itself touches the heights of sheer ecstasy whilst embracing the polar opposite. Heaven and hell bedfellows seeking deliverance from natures demands.

 
 
 Much of the modern stuff falls short of the classic works. It tends to, as do so many horror films, depict blood and gore rather than the haunting images of its predecessors that whisper fear rather than shout it. This is a common failing for when the original succeeds so singularly how are those that follow meant to better the best? They cannot. they can only ramp up the implied horror by showing limbs hacked off and bloody, eyeballs being licked, guts trailing over folded flesh. They can only offer obvious methods to shock which only disengage the audience with their crass observations.

This is an art form that resonates deeply within us, disquieting though it is, as it reflects our deepest, darkest fears. Not the fears the lurk in the shadowy confines of our imagination with grim depictions of monsters under the bed or dwellers below the stairs but the very essence of our selves. It is that nameless dread of what we all are capable of and which we so desperately keep hidden that truly scares us.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

1 comment:

Faycin A Croud said...

Those images very definitely scream "Japanese." My son pointed out once that a lot of Hentai comes from the fact that the Japanese have a very sexually repressed culture in many ways. They blur out genitalia in their pornography. This inspires extreme art forms such as tentacle porn. At any rate this theory makes sense to me.