man and his pain

Perhaps it is because I grew up in a family where “contemplating the infinite” was code for taking a shit, but somehow it seems to me that the most stunning aesthetic beauty is often found in things our social norms deem most abject, most painful, most grotesque.

I don’t mean some kind of noble beauty or tragic hero kind of beauty, I mean straight up aesthetic beauty. The colors, the lines, the forms.

This is our truth, no?

This is what scares us, no?

That even in our most horrific acts, there might be beauty.

The immorality of that.

The slippery slope… to acceptance, even to glorification. Such that we begin to revel in our own extraordinary capacities as humans for enacting pain and horrors on others or on the world around us.

So we call the grotesque, the violence, the derelict, “ugly” and then try to avoid looking at it. And then we also pretend that we don’t simultaneously participate in its reproduction, systematization, and mass mediated fetishization.

It is a curious thing, how the human mind dances.

Infinite circles spiraling to avoid the real.


Photo from: Antonin Artaud: Works on Paper, The Museum of Modern Art, 1996