عنوان مقاله [English]
The human body has been one of the most challenging subjects for artists from the distant past until now. In contemporary art, the artists have exploited the subject of the body to express their critical approaches to social and cultural phenomena for the purpose of having greater impact on their audience. Hence, when the subject of the body appears in a grotesque form, a new representation of the body appears, which is against the usual conventions. According to Aristotle’s (in ancient Greece) view of the human body, a body is “healthy and harmonious” as long as all of its parts have measurable values. This theory has continued to the present day to the extent that in Georges Bataille’s view, the human body (the specific form of the human body) has a metaphysical dimension (similar to the conception of the human body in ancient Greece). There is harmony in such a body and each number has been defined in harmony with the other members as well as the whole body (Thomson, 1972: 11). Regarding the terminology of grotesque, Adams writes: “The word grotesque entered our language with the discovery of some unusual images in the underground corridors. Because they were discovered in the buried tunnels of palace halls and later in other locations removed from Rome, such as Pompeii, they were identified as works from the caves or grottoes, for the passages were cavelike in their dark, subterranean world.” (Adams, 2016: 7). According to what was discussed, the ideal body is one in which all parts are in harmony. When this harmony is disturbed in any way, the expressive rules of the body are challenged. This challenge is the purpose of the grotesque expression. Grotesque, as a method in visual arts, expresses the hidden and dark side of humanity. With this regard, grotesque seemed very controversial from the beginning, as it was anathema to classical ideas, opinions, and even aesthetics. This controversial feature in grotesque made it become a motif in the hands of artists in different eras. Different artists around the world including Leonardo da Vinci (Italy), Annibale Caracci (Italy), Salvador Dali (Spain), Zdislav Beksiński (Poland), and Francis Bacon (England) used this motif in their works. This geographical and temporal vastness in the use of grotesque can be indicative of the power of this method to respond to the society of each artist through a critical approach. There is also evidence of the presence of this method in Iranian art. The background of this goes back to the paintings of Muhammad Siah Qalam (second half of the 9th century AH) (Azhand, 2007: 269). After that and with the beginning of the modern period, following the Western experiences, the writers initially took refuge in the safety zone of grotesque, and it was noticed by Iranian painters later. They (both painters and writers) made use of a more modern level of grotesque in their works than before. In this period, in the West, artists rejected realism and embraced surrealism or magical realism through a critical approach (especially in expressing the human body); Therefore, certainty disappeared and doubts and questions took its place. It is in such a world that the expression of grotesque was re-emphasized as a mode of performance (Imami and Kamrani, 2019: 22). Parallel to this period, attention to the capabilities of the grotesque expression in the human body grasps the attention of the artists such as Bahman and Ardeshir Mohasses in Iran (Mozaffarnezhad, 2015: 161). After the Islamic Revolution, due to the emphasis on the individuality of the artist and the sociological view, the attention to the human body increased, and the art of portraiture was revived again. Accordingly, the revival of portraiture came with a more challenging expression in which exaggeration, fall, non-human elements, and nightmarish images took the place of visual reality. Mehrnoosh Badpar, a contemporary Iranian artist, is one of the artists who has used this expression to design her works. Therefore, by examining the grotesque elements in her works, the present research aims to examine whether the expression of grotesque in these works seeks to make realistic the image of a nightmare, or does it intend to make a moment of reality look different? This research aims to examine the effects of the grotesque elements on the artist’s expression and its challenging effects on the audience. Since simple and straightforward expression may not have an impact on the audience’s critical approach in today’s world, examining the grotesque elements and studying them can offer more effective solutions to artists to create works.