photo manipulation & text by nacrowe
filmed shortly before his passing in 2014, DARK STAR: H. R. GIGER'S WORLD (T&C FILM AG, 2014) documents the life and laters years of the brazenly IMAGINATIVE and ENIGMATIC SWISS artist of subconsciously-inspired phantasmagorical BIO-MECHANICAL renderings that call into very question the ethical limits of man's detours into GENETIC ENGINEERING and BIOTECNOLOGICAL TECHNIQUES. his often MONOCHROME paintings are seemingly ELEMENTAL, referencing the ETERNALLY CYCLICAL interplay of BIRTH, SEX and DEATH and the SUBLIME nature of reproduction. with references to MODERN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN and ANCIENT EGYPTIAN RELIGIOUS ART, his paintings often depict a merging of humans with TECHNOLOGY, where one becomes the other to the point that it is impossible to see the symbioses for its composite parts. its all one thing.
like most people, my introduction to H.R. GIGER was his work on RIDLEY SCOTT'S ALIEN film franchise that began in the late 1970s, but was reintroduced time and again by his visual work's association with NEW WAVE singer DEBBIE HARRY, BAY AREA HARDCORE legends DEAD KENNEDYS , PROGRESSIVE ROCK pioneers EMERSON, LAKE AND PALMER, and the early SWISS extreme METAL band CELTIC FROST. one surprise from this film was the revelation that CELTIC FROST / HELLHAMMER / TYPTYKON frontman THOMAS GABRIEL FISCHER has worked as GIGER's longtime assistant since the mid-1980s, their relationship being established from an early letter he wrote thanking him for the inspiration to create ART. its fair to say quite a few musicians have found such in the work of GIGER over the years.
much is made in the film about the meaning of his work and its supposed NIHILISTIC overtones, but the HUMANOIDS i experience in his work seem empowered by their connection to TECHNOLOGY, not subsumed by it. in fact id argue that he presents a sort of IDEAL that i am nowhere remotely near with my own relationship to TECHNOLOGY, which seemingly bends me to its will and not the other way around. its interesting to consider when that SINGULARITY will occur between HUMANITY and TECHNOLOGY and what form we will seamlessly evolve into during our next stage. the idea that we deliberately planned and initiated our own evolutionary step that permanently divorces us from the ANCIENT rhythms of nature.
it feels like with the advent of CRISPR TECHNOLOGY and GENETIC EDITING becoming a science fact rather than FICTION, we may be on the doorstep of some version of GIGER's FANTASTICAL vision. whether that is a net benefit or not is another question entirely, but its fair to say that GIGER is a visionary and a prophet who held such ethical dilemmas explicitly as the crux of his intensely SYMBOLIC CREATIVE LIFE.
and we are all better for it.
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