MANIFESTO OF VISIONARY ART

      Giger's later works render into form the baroque monstrosities awaiting him in the twisting and turning cellars of his own mind. A dense mesh of figures - prodigous, morbid, grotesque - constellate themselves into the furthermost corners of his compositions. Meanwhile, in their midsts appear elongated female figures - ghostly yet alluring - who are trapped in the torturous contraptions and deathly devices of some evil but ultimately unknown will. These timeless events transpire in smoke-filled chambers, darkly-lit, which seem but part of an infinite and primaeval rusted machine.
      It is not by chance that the artist entitled a collection of his works, The Necronomicon. As Giger explains,
      "The Necronomicon ... supposedly tells of events which happened in the grey mists of pre-history, and contains illustrations of the sinister forms of life which lurk in the depths of the earth and the sea, waiting until the day when they will destroy humanity and assume dominion over the world. ...The famous writer H.P Lovecraft was the first to mention this work."(24)
      This is the darker darkness, presently 'occulted' (literally, hidden) from view - existing before this world was created and appearing again at its end - the black, tenebrous world which Visionary art can, for a few brief moments of terror, make manifest. This is the coiling, beguiling serpent at the commencement of time, and the seven-headed beast re-emerging at its end. This is the Hell of Bosch, which offered a vision of the apocalypse all-too-imminent to his contemporaries. This, in Gothic art, is the Angels' trumpet blast, the Resurrection of the Dead, and the Judgement ever-lasting."This" Huxley writes, is the "negatively transfigured world... Every event is charged with a hateful significance; every object



 
 
 


L. CARUANA

manifests the presence of Indwelling Horror, infinite, all-powerful, eternal."(25) And yet, Huxley was not talking here about the Hell of traditional Christian art. Rather, he was describing the internal Hell that may be revealed through ingested mescalin or LSD.
      Through clinical observation and therapeutic practice, Dr. Stanislav Grof spent the better part of his professional life studying the visionary effects of LSD. He found that repeated use of the hallucinogen leads to a deepening experience of its effects. The fullest, deepest, and most enlightening trip has several gradual stages. Typically, at the onset, one beholds "incredibly colorful and dynamic visions of geometric designs, architectural forms, kaleidoscopic displays, magic fountains, or fantastic fireworks."(26) This experience gradually deepens into a hallucinatory state, with emergent images responding both to internal and external stimuli.
      Depending on the disposition of the individual, the psychedelic experience may take a turn for the worse, causing him to experience (what Grof calls) "cosmic engulfment" which "...involves overwhelming feelings of increasing anxiety, and awareness of an imminent vital threat."(27) What is more, "an important characteristic of this experiential pattern is the darkness of the visual field and the ominous and sinister colors of all the objects." "Further intensification of anxiety typically results in an experience involving a monstrous gigantic whirlpool, a Maelstrom sucking...relentlessly towards its center (or) ...an experience of being swallowed by a terrible monster (or) ...descent into the underworld and encounter with various dangerous creatures."(28)The deepest level is related to various concepts of hell - a situation of unbearable suffering that will never end"(29)



 
 
 


<-- LAST PAGE

 


NEXT PAGE -->

 
 


HOME

 


EDITORIAL

 


MANIFESTO OF
VISIONARY ART


 


FUCHS
ON DALI


 


VISIONARY
PORNOGRAPHY