Everything Rests On A Tablecloth with Lemons by Lucie McLaughlinJanuary 10, 2021
Federico De Cicco – “Libertas”, “Xwedayê Bedewiyê” & “The Amazon Burning”January 10, 2021
Dear Exploding Appendix,
From inception, the Dr. Scary and Mr. Gory project has been about aesthetics and politics together. We, along with Ranciere, believe that the terms are neatly linked in a similar way as Foucault has previously linked knowledge and power. As such, our aesthetic products are both art works and statements about the unsatisfactory state of human affairs. We aim to write for all audiences but in particular we write for the youth.
Two of our works, submitted and accepted by you, deal in different ways with aesthetics/politics and link differently with your theme of revolutionary art praxis.
The first, “Unwritten History of Present,” is uncharacteristically only verse, without an associated illustration; the lack of image reflects the impossibility of representing death camps in a way that satisfies skeptics and the written form is reflected in the title, it is an attempt to write the unwriteable. The poem was written on a train in Poland, as I approached Auschwitz. I myself am of Polish descent and Mr. Gory is of Ukrainian descent. Among others, both ethnic groups, as you know, were rounded up and slaughtered in Auschwitz. The poem was a means by which I could come to some understanding of what the death camps mean historically but also presently. The verse, by means of its aesthetics, imagery and intonation, is meant to be also a revolutionary political statement, and an indictment of current practices in the US and China where internment camps are again becoming popular. Thus, it is the history of the present that has yet to be written with a historical view. My poem is an attempt to document that and interrupt the cycle of nihilistic politics with an aesthetic that is dark but hopeful, and perhaps revolutionary.
The second work is more in line with our typical style, it is less overtly political and more overtly aesthetic. In general, this is what we like to do with our illuminated verses: fictionalize real horrors. “Amphibionic” is more in line with fantastic horror than historical horrors. The title came to me in a strangely liminal state. Unusually, the word came first, preceding the poem. And in this case, the poem was inspired by the drawing, but the title was borne of nothing. Let me explain. In most Dr Scary and Mr Gory works, the poem’s kernel precedes the poem and the poem precedes the illustration. Here, the reverse was true, where the kernel and Mr Gory’s illustration came separately and concurrently, and then the poem was written. I like to think that this experimental method was a minor revolution of art, at least for us and the way we work. The verse itself explores apocalyptic themes, by way of fossil fuels, dinosaur extinction, and cyborgs. In hybridizing and indeed weirding all of these themes, we conflate biology and technology and speculate how their juxtaposition is something we hardly understand, but still affects us as individuals and has the potential for affecting literally everybody else and everything else, across the globe. The work is “revolutionary” in this sense that it affects each literal revolution of the globe.
We aim to use our art as a way to affect political change but meanwhile exploring and pushing boundaries of art itself. In a time of universal prose, writing a poem is a revolutionary act. In a time of instagram photos, an ink drawing is revolutionary.
Finally, here are our current biosketches, which describe something about ourselves:
Dr. Scary (Michael E. Skyer) and Mr. Gory (Gregory Fedorchuk) are a team of like-minded readers and creators of dark art. Both Dr. Scary and Mr. Gory are trained and practicing Fine Artists.
Skyer is a University professor and PhD candidate, writing a dissertation on the role of vision in pedagogy. Skyer has published extensive research in scientific journals and has presented nationally and internationally in the field of deaf education.
Fedorchuck is a renowned artist, whose work is appreciated globally, and shared widely to devouring audiences. Skyer is professionally active on Twitter, often in an activist role for deaf children’s literacy. Skyer is late-deaf and a fluent ASL user. Gregory also lives with a physical disability.
Both Dr. Scary and Mr. Gory support the #OwnVoices movement, as related to disability and diversity of author identity. Dr. Scary and Mr. Gory have nearly two thousand followers on Twitter and are preparing the launch of an Instagram account and separate website.
You are welcome to cut and sort this as you please. William S. Burroughs threw his manuscript down the stairs, bundled it up and submitted it for publication. I trust you won’t do as much.
We hope you Come Haunt With Us.
With warm regards,
Dr. Scary & Mr. Gory
“Unwritten History of Present.”
The deaths and killings happen now
As they once did, perhaps,
forever they shall.
As fear and wrath are bedfellows.
Siblings of soil, perhaps,
working the bellows.
What was it, cut out from steel,
what freedom from work?
White tree limbs climb out of shame.
An unsecret slaughter.
All are to blame.
Shadow eyes bear witness, perhaps.
To haunted deeds:
The sign of the cross.
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