The Grotesque Body

“Grotesque realism uses the material body – flesh conceptualized as corpulent excess – to represent cosmic, social, topographical and linguistic elements of the world. Thus already in (Mikhail) Bakhtin there is the germinal notion of transcodings and displacements effected between the high/low image of the physical body and other social domains. Grotesque realism images the human body as multiple, bulging, over-or under-sized, protuberant and incomplete. The openings and orifices of this carnival body are emphasized, not its closure and finish. It is an image of impure corporeal bulk with its orifices (mouth, flared nostrils, anus) yawning wide and its lower regions (belly, legs, feet, buttocks, and genitals) given priority over its upper regions (head, ‘spirit’, reason).” 

The Politics and Poetics of Transgression. Peter Stallybrass and Allon White.