Inguinal Hernia by Elettra Stamboulis

Inguinal hernia: how a comic can turn into an illness and a panacea


Illnesses and anguish come in various kinds. They can afflict the body, the mind and the soul for those who believe in them. is an illness that has afflicted those who by destiny or need have come across this self-reproducing being that is growing on the net.

Obviously it is a site and as such has, in itself, all the characteristics of a continuing malignant tumour that cannot be stopped. Nobody says why it is called inguine, but everyone is talking about it as a physically present entity, in the Cartesian version of existence that grows and believes it can do without the creator. Those who have written about it have defined it as an organism and those who created it have named it using a term taken from anatomy. Its name ‘’ already attempts to overcome the immaterial nature of the virtual net and give it a constitution that requires flesh, blood and veins.


It is instead a growing organism


The development of this ectoplasm-like organism consists of the stories or rather the suggestions that arise from stories but the focal centre is the comic and the illustration. The explicit objective is to explore the potential of the net by means of the contribution of comic illustrators, comic-strip writers and visual narrators. The accumulation does induce a trance or a nauseous effect but rather calls to memory Dadaist experiments from the beginning of the nineteen hundreds, the linguistic experiments of Quenau and brothers. It recalls, evokes and even has another personality. Certainly it is in line with the capture of the user, the way out of vain passivity, but at the same time it is not an interactive game, it does not have a purely random growth, it does not have the voyeuristic vocation of comic writer’s chat. It is not a fetish for technology. In some way it has a direction.


I never think of the future. It always comes too soon. was born in the minds of four persons, firstly I believe as a child of the night, as the projection of a vigil for someone of whom we do not know; who will this person look like and take after, but simply as a suggestion born of an idea. In this sense it is truly experimental. One never knows how things will turn out at the end. Projects are launched in the net, those who wish to follow it and send material, then someone shut in a claustrophobic room surrounded by empty Coca-cola cans, a real techno-youth, assembles the images, creates the direction and thinks of a meaning. But the growth does not finish here because the contexts of using it change and therefore the visual frame and perception of things also change. Inguine enjoys being present at exhibitions, competitions and conferences on the Web. Thus it travels physically. It was at Sarajevo for the Biennial of Young Artists of the Mediterranean. It was not shy about showing its Horatio like nature of carpe diem among the skyscrapers crumbling under mortar fire. It was in Milan, from the ‘Open space’ lounge to the space occupied by the “Underground Happening”. It turned into wall stickers in railway stations, toilets of discos and telephone boxes. Inguine really does live in pixel form but paradoxically invokes the resistant nature of paper.

Horace took it to the baptism, but inguine has not come out of time and space. It does not think of the future but leaves this to the shamans of technological prediction. It is true that by inserting itself in the space of figurative representation it is forced to inhabit the temporal dimension, as Erich Auerbach has shown us. In the construction of frames, images, numbers and sounds temporal scanning implies a choice and choice implies a positioning of self in time of which the user becomes the object. But the reproductive and prismatic effect of the images that comes to us and are recreated in new sequences, apart from commercial intentions, guaranties a substantial dose of free choice by the machine of the construction system of the imaginary itself. In this sense Inguine is an agglutinant place, like the language of the Innuit; it has roots and themes that can be declined depending on the vocation of each single artist.     


Every development in language is also a development in feeling (T.S. Eliot)


So is now here, in an exhibition belonging to someone else and has called to arms other authors. It has decided on a theme for them, extrapolated from a page by Marjane Satrapi and has asked them to re-interpret it, without words. The results are interesting. In a handful of styles the attentive eye can identify nine different hands, all connected to the brain. The game is still a little Dadaist, but being a game it is necessary to stick to the rules. It is as if the story told by Satrapi were to leave her pages and continue to rove through out memory, creating new images and new stories. In brief, it is what happens when you read a good book or see a good film, except that here this process which is normally interior has been laid out and immobilised on paper. To each his own.

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