Nov 11, 2011

REVIEW | Genealogies of Pain | David Lynch & Marilyn Manson 2011

Genealogies of Pain, David Lynch and Marilyn Manson, 2011. 


The Genealogies of Pain has certainly been one of the more interesting and well crafted art books that i have ever laid hands on. Everything in the book is interesting and unique, all the pages are a glossy black; the text is so dark it almost blends into the pages, and everything in the book is in either german or english. I found myself looking into each of the works and their meanings. Partially it was so interesting because this book is comparing a painter to a film artist. The works are quite different but are meant none the less to compliment each other. Many of the works lists the models, a few listed were Elizabeth Short and Jonbenet Ramsey. Any buff on murders would know these as The Black Dahlia, and JonBenet, as the 6 year old overly sexualized pageant girl that was murdered in her own home.


 The book has two sides to it, one for Lynch and another for Manson, the book can be flipped over and upside down in order to see the artist work correctly. Manson work being on the front of the book, the left side, and turning the book over and upside down would allow the viewer too see David Lynch's side. In the very center there are interviews both from Lynch and Manson, each one is first in english, and then again reprinted in german following it. The book was released and printed in Zurich, Germany; this is also the place where a local museum was first to show the "Genealogies of Pain" exhibition. This book is most definitely a "coffee table book", if you don't know the artist, or the art, these will just be pretty pictures to look at. Or rather, gruesome pictures would be more correct i suppose as most images deal with either mutilation or disturbing actions. Then again, this may not be something you want to look at while your eating or drinking anything without risking it coming back up. . .

 David Lynch's grotesque films are not anywhere included in the book, but rather a few still of four individual films. Marilyn Manson has 32 watercolor paintings in the book. Marilyn Manson portrays gruesome works of watercolors as well as somewhat satirical in a sick but fulfilling way. He paints the Black Dahlia before and after her mutilation and names her "Snow White,"and refers to the painting as well as "The Smiles," and "Now a Special Smile for One so Far."JonBenet Ramsey is painted as sleeping beauty, the blonde haired 6 year old beauty queen had enough makeup caked on her during pageants she could pass as a 16 year old girl by face alone. He agains paints a before and after mutilation set and each painting clearly portrays the girl of any age other than 6. Another image that caught me of Manson's was "Skoptic Syndrome Jack," I personally had no idea what Skoptic Syndrome was until i looked it up. Skoptic Syndrome is genital dysphoria, in other words genital mutilation, again, not pleasant at all. A few more examples of some disturbing Manson pieces would be "Sisyphus,""The New Slave of Big 500 Cent (Albino Hermaphrodite Opium Harvester), and "Trismegistus," which is painted on an antique embalming table and shows three faces of Jesus with the thorn crown. Trismegitus was the teacher of magic and alchemy, his name meaning thrice greatest



When I get Old, Marilyn Manson Watercolor, Absinthe, and morticians makeup on paper, 2002. 

David Lynch's work is not justified in the book, however, film cannot be justified by book as it is moving and the pages of a book contains stills only from his videos. Many of his video's in the book are from the 1960's, 70's and 80's, the video's were selected to harmonize with Manson's own works, that is if anything could harmonize with brutality. The stills chosen for Lynch's specific movies are however very enticing. I found myself much intrigued and watching each of his video's that was featured in the book. I found "Six Men Getting Sick (Six Times)," was ultimately disturbing. It is a one minute video that is repeated six times. It was one of Lynch's experimental video's in college. The stills in the book for this short film were very well done i believe, however, nothing compares to the film itself. All of Lynch's film work is grotesque and as it continues in his year it appears to grow more and more in a disturbed fashion. A later video that is also featured in his work is "The Grandmother," it portrays a boys parents as animals in a sick world where he relies on his grandmother for sanity and happiness. He grows his grandmother from a seed over a few days and she becomes his happiness and helps him through the horrible life his careless parents make him live through.

Screening of Six Men Getting Sick (Six Times), David Lynch.


In both Manson's and Lynch's work there is the correlation of a grotesque and morbid setting that somehow makes the work more lively.  The set up of the book itself is enticing and embraces the mood of the art. The book overall is very beautiful, very dark, and very enticing. The interviews are well done by many different people, both on Manson and Lynch. The layout of the book is very interesting and well done, it's not a common thing done with art books and that's just one more thing that sets it aside from the rest. The book was fantastical in its own way, it is truly a piece of art in itself, it was put together with care and it is catered towards those who prefer a shock and awe in art. Anyone who prefers a good dose of blood and guts and things that make them sick must absolutely have this book. Never have I been so compelled by a book and never have I learned so much from an art book. Though both artists have a dark past, one being deemed "Antichrist Superstar," there is a great psychological knowledge in both artists and they both know exactly how to put on a good show and thrill the audience.


- Erin Vohlakari Davis

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