Live And Die Todos los artículos de DIVUS LIVE (blog)
Live And Die

Live And Die

06.10.2012 22:22

Marisol Rodríguez | en

Before the TV cameras and the furious news people parked outside his house looking for a statement, before the activists endorsing respect to the First Amendment that protects freedom of expression in the United States compared his trial to the crucifixion of Christ, and long before the court in Pinellas County found him guilty of three minor charges for the  distribution, publishing and advertising of obscene comic books, Michael C. Diana was a normal teenager who began to draw cartoons in the 80’s emulating the work of his role models. These were among others: Basil Wolverton, Greg Irons, Robert Crumb, Clay Wilson and the artists of Zap Comix, the paradigmatic underground magazine that during the 60’s formed the new panorama of comic books in the United States of America.
For the young Diana, the works of Clay Wilson were liberating. In one of his comics dating from the 60s, Wilson presents us with the story of Captain Pissgums and his Perverted Pirates. In it, the perverted pirates, a band of “lice infested losers, sadists, masochists and sodomites” get lost on their voyage across the seven seas and while away the time smoking opium and taking turns to cum into their Captain’s mouth.
But however close to his œuvre, these explorations of sex through exaggeration and the questioning of the day to day ready formulas for living that the Zap Comix artists initiated, they were still deeply different to the art of the young Diana who in 1994 was imprisoned for four days in a maximum security prison in the state of Florida, U.S. for publishing the now infamous comic book Boiled Angel.
In Boiled Angel Diana opened a door to an interior world brutally afflicted by reality, by the death of naivety, by the disappearance of every ideal and by the most raw and distorted violence. Influenced by, but far — graphically, thematically and ideologically — from the artists of Zap Comix, Diana is closer to the tradition of terrifying alienation constant in the literary works of Kafka. In Diana’s world as in Kafka’s, the characters are victims of unreasonable and often baffling forces beyond their, and our, comprehension. Happy endings are impossible in the tormented journeys of Diana’s personages, who are victims, in the first place, of his appalling and inflexible universes.
The ultimate futilities of the characters struggles are constantly being pointed out by a sadistic author who rejoices in the absurdity of the real world. Frequent references to the present the World Trade Centre towers as they collapse, newspaper trimmings reporting teenage suicides and cases of pederasty, to name but a few, remind us that the author is not always the mastermind behind these twisted fantasies, usually there is a perpetrator before him. 
Religion, family, childhood, friendship, school, adolescence, community and justice; these are all platforms for Diana’s ultra violence. In his stories every human expression of sexuality is depraved. Even extraterrestrials and balloons shaped like animals are depraved. There is no possible sincerity or honesty within his world. Instead, everything is part of a fabrication that mixes justice and barbarism in equal parts but neither justice nor barbarism win out. It is this ambiguity that causes such troubling results. As in Kafka, innocence is relative for Diana and the space of doubt accommodates all kinds of evil punishment. A good example is his comic Party Props (1996), where the protagonist Greg is decapitated and used as a dinner party centrepiece by his temporarily insane tupperware obsessed mother.
This sardonic comedy is probably one of Diana’s most difficult characteristics to pin down, mainly because it is impossible to describe Greg’s dismembered torso pinched back together with cocktail sticks as being exactly “funny.” Maybe the artist’s strategy relies on Freud’s relief theory of humour explicated in ‘The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious’ (1905), this theory states that laughter is the release of pent-up nervous energy that mounts during the telling of a joke, or in Diana’s case, the reading of a comic.
Contrary to the obvious, Diana’s virtue is not in becoming a flying banner in the fight for freedom of expression in the specific environment of comic art, but in being a relevant artist by his own merit. His themes, techniques and DIY methods that take on the ethos of punk culture stand out by themselves. However, there is no denying that his becoming a victim of so perverse scourges as the ones he draws in his cartoons has changed his life, his work and the subjects he has chosen to depict.
The violence in Boiled Angel that seemed almost repulsive, deliberately sensational and scandalous, with the passing of the years and the maturity attained by a trial in which he was found guilty, turned into a humourless comedy of daily life. There is no subtlety or ambiguity in his message: the world is abhorrent, innocence is pre-destined to die in the bloodiest way, every one of us is in part guilty – ergo punishable.
America, the title of this survey covering more than two decades of work by Mike Diana is an indication. It refers to, and exists as, a reflection of the society that deemed his artwork a crime; America LIVE/DIE are caustic satire in the face of those who, since 1969, decided to ignore the preliminary conclusions of the Presidential Commission on Obscenity and Pornography: The Commission believes that there is no warrant for continued Government interference with the full freedom of adults because extensive empirical investigation, both by the Commission and others, provides no evidence that exposure to or use of explicit sexual materials plays a significant role in the causation of social or individual harms such as crime, delinquency, sexual or non sexual deviancy or severe emotional disturbances.
 This book is an affront to the political correctness that has justified Diana’s persecution since the early 90’s. But let’s not lose sight of something: Although from his pen have emanated all kinds of – frequently hilarious – horrors, we will not count among them the regret of it’s expression.





06.10.2012 22:22

Comentarios

Actualmente no hay comentarios

Agregar nuevo comentario

Artículos recomendados

The Top 10 Czech Artists from the 1990s The Top 10 Czech Artists from the 1990s
The editors of Umělec have decided to come up with a list of ten artists who, in our opinion, were of crucial importance for the Czech art scene in the 1990s. After long debate and the setting of criteria, we arrived at a list of names we consider significant for the local context, for the presentation of Czech art outside the country and especially for the future of art. Our criteria did not…
My Career in Poetry or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Institution My Career in Poetry or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Institution
An American poet was invited to the White House in order to read his controversial plagiarized poetry. All tricked out and ready to do it his way, he comes to the “scandalous” realization that nothing bothers anyone anymore, and instead of banging your head against the wall it is better to build you own walls or at least little fences.
MIKROB MIKROB
There’s 130 kilos of fat, muscles, brain & raw power on the Serbian contemporary art scene, all molded together into a 175-cm tall, 44-year-old body. It’s owner is known by a countless number of different names, including Bamboo, Mexican, Groom, Big Pain in the Ass, but most of all he’s known as MICROBE!… Hero of the losers, fighter for the rights of the dispossessed, folk artist, entertainer…
An unsuccessful co-production An unsuccessful co-production
If you know your way around, you might discover that every month and maybe even every week you stand the chance to receive money for your cultural project. Successful applicants have enough money, average applicants have enough to keep their mouths shut, and the unsuccessful ones are kept in check by the chance that they might get lucky in the future. One natural result has been the emergence of…
ArtLeaks
27.07.2014 19:39
¿A dónde ir ahora?
albania
Red, Yellow and Blue in the Middle of Nowhere
Red, Yellow and Blue in the Middle of Nowhere
Jiří Ptáček
IIn the vestibule of a large hotel in Tirana where, in the end, we did not stay, I noticed a poster on a tourist board with the attractive slogan “Albania: The Last Secret.” It accosted us because we had no desire to see the sights of a country that had weathered the ravages of Enver Hoxha. We were here to find out what was happening at Tirana’s second biennale. The patron of the first biennale…
Leer más...
symposium
Grave Diggers´ Laboratory
Grave Diggers´ Laboratory
Jiří Surůvka
Leer más...
reportáž
Under the Shadow of Heroes
Under the Shadow of Heroes
Alena Boika
Leer más...
muscles
Adventures in Musculature
Adventures in Musculature
Jan Suk
“Instead of interpreting art, we must love art.” Susan SontagTwo years ago I saw a work by a Balkan artist, whose name I eventually forgot, a recording of his performance in a gallery where he lifted and pulled weights as a professional for a body-building session. The confrontation of him toning up his overly developed muscles in the space of the intellectually charged gallery made me think…
Leer más...
Libros, video, ediciones y obras de arte que podrían interesarle Ir a la tienda virtual
BOOK "AMERICA" OF 528 PAGES. PACKAGE CONTAINS TWO VOLUMES (VOL. LIVE & VOL. DIE) IN CARDBOARD BOX. Big book of collected works...
Más información...
55 EUR
62 USD
Limited edition of large posters printed on gloss coated paper for Mike Diana's exhibition in London. Size 100 x 70 cm.
Más información...
10 EUR
11 USD
American Issue
Más información...
6,50 EUR
7 USD
1999, 21.5 x 28 cm, screen print on paper
Más información...
95 EUR
107 USD

Studio

Divus and its services

Studio Divus designs and develops your ideas for projects, presentations or entire PR packages using all sorts of visual means and media. We offer our clients complete solutions as well as all the individual steps along the way. In our work we bring together the most up-to-date and classic technologies, enabling us to produce a wide range of products. But we do more than just prints and digital projects, ad materials, posters, catalogues, books, the production of screen and space presentations in interiors or exteriors, digital work and image publication on the internet; we also produce digital films—including the editing, sound and 3-D effects—and we use this technology for web pages and for company presentations. We specialize in ...
 

Cita del día El editor no se responsabiliza por los estados físicos o mentales que puedan generarse después de leer la cita

Enlightenment is always late.
Contacto e información del visitante Contactos de la redacción

DIVUS PERLA
Former papermill area
Nádražní 101
252 46 Vrané nad Vltavou

 

Gallery and Cafe open from Wednesday to Sunday between 11am to 10pm
and on appointment at shop@divus.cz, +420 606 606 425
 

 

Divus Perla
Gábina Náhlíková, gabina@divus.cz, +420 604 254 994


Divus Publishing
Ivan Mečl, ivan@divus.cz, +420 602 269 888



Studio Divus
Helena Jirákový, studio@divus.cz


Magazine Umělec
Palo Fabuš, umelec@divus.cz


Cafe Perla
Lucie Palečková, shop@divus.cz, +420 606 606 425

DIVUS LONDON
Arch 8, Resolution Way, Deptford
London SE8 4NT, United Kingdom

news@divus.org.uk, +44 (0) 7526 902 082

 

Open Wednesday to Saturday 12 – 6 pm.

 

DIVUS BERLIN
Potsdamer Str. 161, 10783 Berlin, Germany
berlin@divus.cz
, +49 (0)151 2908 8150

 

Open Wednesday to Sunday between 1 pm and 7 pm

 

DIVUS WIEN
wien@divus.cz

DIVUS MEXICO CITY
mexico@divus.cz

DIVUS BARCELONA
barcelona@divus.cz
DIVUS MOSCOW & MINSK
alena@divus.cz

SUSCRIPCIÓN AL NEWSLETTER DE DIVUS
Divus We Are Rising National Gallery For You! Go to Vrané nad Vltavou, Nádražní 101.