Autoimmune TRANSformations

In her analysis of concepts of pollution and taboo Mary Douglas makes aware of the danger that lies in transitional states „simply because transition is neither one state nor the next, it is undefinable. The person who must pass from one to another is himself in danger and emanates danger to others.“ (Douglas, 1966/2003, p. 97)1 Douglas also emphasizes the special energy in society’s „margins and unstructured areas“ (ib., p. 115), but she warns: „All margins are dangerous“ (ib., p. 122).

The series of collages and animations titled Autoimmune Transformations reflects the properties of such a transitional state and the specific energy unleashed by transformative processes. The shown images and animations are created in the tradition of the grotesque, dealing with the deviant body with means of distortion, alienation, and, last not least, stultification (in reference to the carnival as the „lived grotesque“, as Michael Bachtin2 pointed out).

The collages and animations also reflect the key processes of autoimmunity: ELIMINATION (deletion, extinction) — LYSIS (dissolution, liquidation) — PHAGOCYTOSIS (assimilation, incorporation).

  1. Douglas, M. (1966/2003). Purity and Danger. An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo. London, New York: Routledge.
  2. Bachtin, M. (1996). Literatur und Karneval. Zur Romantheorie und Lachkultur. Frankfurt/Main: Fischer.
MRT Transformations | Animation by Barb Macek | Vienna, 2019