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Edward Colless - The Corpse Bride and the Human Centipede (Art Forum)

Colless, E 2012 , Edward Colless - The Corpse Bride and the Human Centipede (Art Forum) . [Video]

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Dr Edward Colless presentation is titled “The Corpse Bride and the Human Centipede”. He will discuss as a noisy unstable montage of found objects, the splendid monster of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and how this demonstrates an enduring aesthetic as well as scientific romance. By the re-animated and remediated (and remedial) conjoining of its corpse parts we could construe this phallic creature – with the erotic pataphysical and alchemical recipe of Duchamp – as a “bachelor machine”: an allegorical image as well as working diagram of art as a “chemical wedding” even if, like the bride of Frankenstein, Duchamp’s famous bride stripped bare remains – isolated in the upper storey of The Large Glass – a virgin muse. Dr Colless directs us toward another muse, however, and another bride: necromantic rather than romantic and thus a catastrophic undoing of the bachelor machine. The muse in this case is the notorious “corpse bride”: the instrument of a legendary mode of execution in which a putrescent cadaver is tightly bound in actual intercourse with the victim. In the exposition of this necrotic mad love, he will range from the Gnostic apocryophal gospel of Thomas (Jesus’s twin) to the scatological exploitation movie by Tom Six, The Human Centipede 2 (2011) in which a demonic pervert kidnaps and crudely attaches with sculptural surgery, mouth to anus, a dozen victims in a phantasmic alimentary canal.

Dr Colless is Head of Critical and Theoretical Studies at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. He has been employed in several tertiary institutions as a lecturer in art and cultural history, aesthetics, cinema studies, and design with practical teaching in performance. In addition to a steady output of writing (including art criticism, reviewing, fiction and travel), he has also worked at various times as a professional theatre director, as a filmmaker, curator, and architectural assistant. An anthology of his selected writing, The Error of My Ways, published in 1995, was nominated for the NSW Premier’s Prize for Literature. Colless has also been short-listed for the Pascall Prize for Criticism. He has been features writer and associate editor of Australian Art Collector since its inauguration and has worked as Melbourne art critic for The Australian newspaper. His most recent grant from the Australia Council has been in support of a writing project titled Hallucinogenesis, which deals with states of fascination and possession in art. Last year he held a residency with the Institut français/Ville de Paris for a novel in progress. This year he received the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand’s award for best scholarly article, for his essay “Pop Life and Living Death” in the 21012 Australian Art Journal.

Item Type: Video
Authors/Creators:Colless, E
Collections: University of Tasmania > Tasmanian College of The Arts > Art Forum Lecture Series
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