The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Galerie Dennis Cooper presents … The Guro Artists #2: Cannibals and Edibles *

* (Halloween countdown post #16)

 

‘Guro, also sometimes called Ero guro (エログロ), is an artistic genre that puts its focus on eroticism, sexual corruption, and decadence. As a term, it is used to denote something that is both erotic and grotesque. The term itself is an example of wasei-eigo, a Japanese combination of English words or abbreviated words: ero from “ero(tic)”, guro from “gro(tesque)”, and nansensu from “nonsense”. In actuality the “grotesqueness” implied in the term refers to things that are malformed, unnatural, or horrific. While items that are pornographic and bloody are not necessarily ero guro, and vice versa, the term is often used to mean “gore”—depictions of horror, blood, and guts.

‘Ero guro nansensu, characterized as a “prewar, bourgeois cultural phenomenon that devoted itself to explorations of the deviant, the bizarre, and the ridiculous,” manifested in the popular culture of Taishō Tokyo during the 1920s. Writer Ian Buruma describes the social atmosphere of the time as “a skittish, sometimes nihilistic hedonism that brings Weimar Berlin to mind.” Its roots go back to artists such as Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, who, besides erotic shunga, also produced woodblock prints showing decapitations and acts of violence from Japanese history. Ukiyo-e artists such as Utagawa Kuniyoshi presented similar themes with bondage, rape and erotic crucifixion.

‘Ero guro nansensu’s first distinct appearance began in 1920s and 1930s Japanese literature. The Sada Abe Incident of 1936, where a woman strangled her lover to death and castrated his corpse, struck a chord with the ero guro movement and came to represent that genre for years to come. Other like activities and movements were generally suppressed in Japan during World War II, but re-emerged in the postwar period, especially in manga and music.

‘There are modern guro artists, some of whom cite Erotic Grotesque Nonsense as an influence on their work. These artists explore the macabre intermingled with sexual overtones. Often the erotic element, even when not explicit, is merged with grotesque themes and features similar to the works of H. R. Giger. Others produce ero guro as a genre of Japanese pornography and hentai involving blood, gore, disfiguration, violence, mutilation, urine, enemas, or feces.’ — collaged

 

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Q & A

Posted byu/albert_ara
I do not understand how people can be into gore/guro Pornography.

If you do not know what that is, please don’t google it.

Guro is a category of porn (I hope always drawn, usually in an anime style) where for example someone is having sex with another person they just cut open their stomach and their intestines are gushing out while that person is in agonising pain. Just explaining this makes my stomach turn.

I just want to understand why someone would like that without being completely crazy (I knew a girl that was alright but liked guro, she wasn’t willing to explain why). I just want to understand why.

Posted by Crayshack
Most porn contains an idealized exaggeration of something that the consumer is attracted to in real life. For most people, this is only slightly exaggerated, but for others it is exaggerated past the point of the fantasy being something that is realistically attainable. For example, someone who is attracted to fit women might look at porn like this. At the same time, some people might look at a version exaggerated past the point they are likely to ever encounter such as this. It is the same concept, but taken to the extreme. When you enter the realm of drawn images rather than simple porn photos, you can take the extreme even further past the point of what is even physically possible such as this.

Unrelated to that, sadomasochism exists. It is completely understandable why some people might have difficulty grasping why someone might be a sadist or a masochist, but for me the reason is quite simple. When you experience pain, your body releases adrenaline. The purpose of this is so that you can feel the pain and know something might be damaged, but then have the pain dulled enough to continue whatever task you are doing. However, under the right conditions for some people they can trigger an adrenal release that is more powerful than the pain they experience. For these situations, it turns experiencing pain into a literal high. Once you have enough experiencing pain as way of accessing an adrenaline high, you build a Pavlovian relationship in your mind and start to enjoy the pain itself. Sadism is simply being the one on the outside.

When you combine the concepts, there is a very clear pattern. There is porn of realistic depictions of pain play that do closely resemble how most people do it in real life. Then there are depictions that go beyond what most might try in real life but are still physically doable such as this. Then you have the ones that are physically impossible (at least without killing your partner) such as this.

For both examples of the gradient, some people will realize that they are getting into weirder and weirder shit as they make their way down it. However, sometimes they won’t notice until they are pretty far along because there will not be many sudden jumps. Instead, they are one day asking themselves “What the fuck did I just fap to?” and find that even once they acknowledge it is fucked up it still turns them on because sexual attraction is not something decided by the conscious part of the brain.

Most people if you ask them, would not be able to articulate this process of how they got into what they are into. At best, they can give you some of the details they fixate on and what little things turn a gore pic from general gore to porn for them. However, that does not mean that they have not gone through this sort of development. Everyone goes through a similar kind of association when it comes to sexual attraction. They start by being attracted to something simple and common, but then they start seeking something similar to that initial influence and start building associative relationships. However, most people simply find themselves spinning back around to something else that is common (for example, someone instinctively attracted to breasts might have known a large breasted redhead when they were younger and they are now also attracted to redheads). There are just a few fringe groups that have managed to developed a sexual association with something more bizarre. Guro is not the only strange fetish you can find on the internet, it just might be the one that is the most disturbing to anyone who has not found there way to it naturally.

 

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Except where identified in the image the artists are unknown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 







 

 

 

 

 

 


 





 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

*

p.s. Hey. ** Marcus Whale, Marcus! It’s so great to see you! It’s been ages and ages. How are you? What’s going on? Me too re: doing my annual Halloween in LA, except my plan was extremely tight. I’m still hoping for 2021. Take care, man, and Happy Halloween whatever Australia causes that to mean. xo. ** David Ehrenstein, Yes, indeed. Actually quite a number of the home haunts and haunted house attractions offer ‘lights on’ visits for nerds and people with small children. I love them. One of my big dreams is riding all the rides at Disneyland with the lights on. Minus one week and counting! ** Quinn R, Hi, Quinn. That’s definitely healthier, I think. It’s logical, and I’m kind of a very logical person. For me, the heavy or haunting effect of their deaths didn’t really hit me for while. I think this says more about me than about death, but one thing that really weirds me out is that, I mean, they were two people who, for better or worse, were really significant to me. I knew them thoroughly for most of my life, and they made me, obviously. They were pretty old when they died (mother in her 80s, dad in his 90s), and now basically all of their friends and colleagues are dead, and apart from their kids who had mixed feelings about them and some scattered younger people they interacted with casually, they’re gone, forgotten. They weren’t artists or inventors or anything who left something concrete in the world that has a chance of retaining value without them being present. There’s something about that erasure that really haunts me sometimes. I don’t know if that’s a weird thing to say or makes sense. I think almost every book and movie I really like is about death, ha ha. Strange. So it would be hard to know where to start. I think what with COVID and the election and so on, everyone I know, including me, is feeling a weird combination of slow and kind of frantic. What a strange, strange time. I’ll look for the review today. I think writers need to have challenging reviews. I think writers having to question their work via an objective opinion is kind of invaluable. I will do a Stephen Wright post. I’m on it. Thank you for your thoughtful comments too, sir. And please send my hello back to Ed. I hope one of these days I’ll get to see him again. ** _Black_Acrylic, Loveable is a very good word. Loveable is how I feel about them too. Cash their check! Or cheque in your country’s terms. Have you heard back from them? ** Bill, Hi, Bill. What is it, 6 days to go until the big day? It’s going to be a long, long week. Thanks for the link. That gig looks delicious. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Even way over here, the stress is constant. I keep trying not to pay attention, but I just can’t seem to make an escape. Sounds like an antibiotics situation to me, yeah. They cancelled the Halloween parade in NYC, right? Understandably, rightfully. ** Brian O’Connell, Hi, Brian. Oh, thanks, I’m really happy they impressed you. Haunted house attractions are like cockroaches. They’ll survive the plague. Their makers are hardcore believers. The SCOTUS confirmation thing is so horrifying that I am blocking it out as much as possible to preserve what little peace of mind is currently available. I think if you direct your interest in films away from Ozon’s oeuvre, you’ll be just fine. Gisele’s work hasn’t been performed in the States very much. It’s weird/sucks because the work plays all over the world constantly, but the US is a toughie. A couple of pieces (‘Jerk’, ‘Kindertotenlieder’) made it to NYC and ‘Jerk’ played in LA, and I think one piece (‘The Ventriloquists Convention’) played in Chicago. Importing European theater is something few US venues have the dough to do. Our most recent piece, ‘Crowd’, will play in NYC and maybe do a small US tour sometime next year. ‘Hausu’, right? One of a kind. Yes, may our weeks be very pleasant bosom buddies at minimum. ** Right. I decided to use the happy occasion of Halloween to foist another galerie show of guro on you today. Sorry and/or you’re welcome. And bon appétit! And see you tomorrow.

9 Comments

  1. David Ehrenstein

    What’s most striking about these “Guro” images is the way small chidren are involved. I trust y’all have heard about the fascist fanatic cabal “Q-Anon” which claims that Hillary clinton is the secret owner of a pizza parlor that kipnaps children to be killed and eaten by Democrats.

    The SCOTUS situation is indeed frightful but I am encourages as the Trump era iscoming to an end. Repairing the damage will of coursetake some time.

    Here’s a great interview with the one and only Barbara Steele in the new “Sight and Sound”

    I am selling a frames, “Last Temptation of Christ” poster sighned by Marty for $175.oo. It’s one of a nuber of goddies I have for sale. Write me STAT!

  2. Misanthrope

    Dennis, The first time I took Kayla to London, she was 18. We were eating the continental breakfast at the first hotel we stayed in, and the guy running the place comes over and whispers to me, “Children under 12 eat free.” Hahahaha. Then, we had an issue at a pub. Me, her, and Rigby. The guy is looking at both her passport and driver’s license and going, “There’s no way you’re older than 14.” Rigby finally stepped in, looked the guy in the eye, and goes, “Let us fucking in.” The guy relented, haha.

    What you said about your parents’ deaths up above is not weird or strange at all, I don’t think. Rather, it makes perfectly good sense that your response -and our responses- is such.

    Oh, okay, yeah, I knew your dad had come around at least to acknowledging your success. I’d chalk the rest up to…being a dad.

    My mom is or would probably be like that re: a lot of the stuff I write. It’s funny, my best friend called me last night and I was telling her about my novel, and she pretty much had the same thoughts about my stuff that your family has about yours. I’m just like, whatevs, love, I write what I write.

    Of course, this new novel is nothing like what I usually write. Themes and all are there, the things I do when I write something are there, but there’s nothing really the least bit graphic or “extreme.” It’s just…different.

    Hahaha, yeah, I’ve been thinking all morning about how I’m going to do this zombie makeup. I bought white, black, and gray makeup, so we’ll see how that goes. Probably should get some red for some blood or whatever. I’m still thinking about that. Have a feeling I’m gonna fuck it up, but maybe that’s what it needs.

  3. Tosh Berman

    Guro is fascinating. Have you read Edogawa Rampo? He’s very well known in Japan, and a lot of his fiction touches on Guro, but not like the artwork/anime here. Japan has a long history with Guro. With respect to death and aging, it’s sad but remarkable to notice the disappearance of people as one gets older. It was very hard for me to call my mom and to tell her about Diane di Prima’s passing, as well as Michael McClure, but she took it all in stride. She knows people are disappearing / dying – and that her generation doesn’t really have a physical presence anymore. My dad at the very least has a presence in art as well as cultural history, so there are ways for me to keep touch on his memory, as well as writing my book on him and that world. But still, nature moves on, and I can and understand Guro, as a fetish over the passing of bodies or death. When you go through a traditional Japanese funeral, as I have, it’s very physical and death is in your face. There is a practice that I had to go through when my mother-in-law passed away. At the funeral, I had to go to her skelton, and chip off a bone with chopsticks and put it in a vase. The cremation process is not all ashes, they take the body out for the family to see. So one sees the entire skelton that is mixed with ashes. Probably one of the eye-opening emotional experiences I have ever been through.

  4. Bill

    Funny, when I see “edibles” these days, I think about the kind we get at a dispensary, haha.

    Yup, less than a week till the big day. Time to check on my supply of edibles.

    Sorry to hear France might have a big lockdown coming…

    Bill

  5. _Black_Acrylic

    Ah guro, it’s all part of life’s rich tapestry.

    Not yet heard back from the Creative Scotland grant people, but the ball’s in their court now. I don’t suppose many fellow recipients are able to complete their 2019-planned projects.

    Just ordered the new Actress LP Karma & Desire without hearing a note as I figure he can be relied upon to do something great. Word is it’s like “skipping through a spring meadow” and besides it’s on “crystal clear” vinyl. Always been a sucker for stuff like that.

  6. Quinn R

    Hey Dennis, I understand what you mean actually. My father was an entrepreneur, so he certainly had the drive to create within him. For a while he manufactured neckties, and we still have so many of his neckties in storage. So he did leave a mark on this earth, but there’s no utility to neckties anymore, so the mark he left can’t really be used in any practical way. His necktie collection has the same eerieness of the abandoned carnivals, lots of nostalgic appeal and aesthetic pleasure but the lack of utility gives it a haunting vibe.
    I appreciate you checking out the review. I don’t think it went over well with some readers, and I was feeling pretty burned, but it’s chill now, or at least I’m a lot more chill than I was yesterday.
    I haven’t gotten your hello back to Ed yet but I’m supposed to see him tomorrow, so I’ll tell him in person. Thanks for doing a Stephen Wright post, looking forward to it!
    You were talking about the Yves Tumor album a while back, how did you like it? I don’t have headphones at the moment but I listened to the album a lot in the car over the summer. Really loved it! My boyfriend pointed out that he sounds like Outkast…

  7. Steve Erickson

    I read that Macron will implement new restrictive measures in France. Have they been announced yet?

    My doctor did a test for strep, which turned out negative, and says that my sore throat is just a product of congestion due to allergies. I’m supposed to gargle with warm salt water every 4 hours.

    My doctor has told me to take more and more Klonopin to deal with anxiety, but I’ve realized that it’s having a negative effect on me. For the past 2 days, I’ve been so depressed that I can barely get out of bed, and I’m sure it’s contributing to that lethargy and exhaustion. I’m gonna try cutting down to a lower dose tonight.

    Guro seems like an influence on the elaborate flesh sculptures of the TV series HANNIBAL (as well as the scene in the movie where Ray Liotta’s brain is turned into dinner), but this artwork has a far more whimsical quality.

  8. Brian O’Connell

    Hi, Dennis,

    I’ve heard about guro before but haven’t ever checked it out before myself. Thanks for providing this very striking sampling. It’s so surreal, and kind of funny, to see such violent scenes depicted in that cutesy faux-anime style plastered all over DeviantArt and Twitter. Honestly, the whole thing seems entirely harmless and even slightly charming and humorous (if very gross), in the way all weird fetish art can sometimes be.

    I took a look at your post about Gisele’s work. It blew me away. Some of it is just breathtaking. “Kindertotenlieder” seriously spooked me just watching it; I can’t imagine what it would have felt like to experience that in an actual theater, with the elements in the same room. Choreography and performance art, it’s just one of the most incredible things to me. There’s really nothing like the human body in motion. Saddened to hear that a lot of her work hasn’t made the U.S. crossover yet. I will definitely keep an eye out for “Crowd” if it’s coming to NYC, though.

    Happy Thursday. Talk to you tomorrow.

  9. Ed

    It is too bad people can’t leave comments for individual post.

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