Panel 05 Bodies on Display

Event Title

The Grotesque, Hybrid Bodies, and Marilyn Manson

Presenter Information

Matti PomeroyFollow

Start Date

14-2-2015 9:30 AM

End Date

14-2-2015 10:50 AM

Panel

Bodies on Display

Abstract

In the mid-to-late 1990s, band Marilyn Manson seemed to strike a particular societal nerve that led to forced cancellations of shows, petitions to ban them from playing, and even used as a scapegoat for the 1999 Columbine High School shootings. The reasons for the band’s vilification are quite obvious. Many of their lyrics deal with scathing critiques of capitalism, religion—specifically Christianity—and refer to sex, drugs, and violence. However, this is nothing new for popular music artists. I argue that what makes Marilyn Manson so different is their transgressive and confrontational appearance and visuals. Using Bakhtin’s concept of the grotesque, this paper examines select music videos from 1996-2001 and considers the ways Marilyn Manson’s carnivalesque performance of the body and gender creates possibilities for other non-normative bodies and gender performances.

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Feb 14th, 9:30 AM Feb 14th, 10:50 AM

The Grotesque, Hybrid Bodies, and Marilyn Manson

In the mid-to-late 1990s, band Marilyn Manson seemed to strike a particular societal nerve that led to forced cancellations of shows, petitions to ban them from playing, and even used as a scapegoat for the 1999 Columbine High School shootings. The reasons for the band’s vilification are quite obvious. Many of their lyrics deal with scathing critiques of capitalism, religion—specifically Christianity—and refer to sex, drugs, and violence. However, this is nothing new for popular music artists. I argue that what makes Marilyn Manson so different is their transgressive and confrontational appearance and visuals. Using Bakhtin’s concept of the grotesque, this paper examines select music videos from 1996-2001 and considers the ways Marilyn Manson’s carnivalesque performance of the body and gender creates possibilities for other non-normative bodies and gender performances.