Clown Core: A Masterpiece of Modern Art


At a glance, “Hell,” the new video from a duo known only as Clown Core, appears to be a ridiculous farce predicated largely on the random interaction of unrelated objects and beings. However, if one resists this facile analysis and allows Clown Core deeper consideration, it becomes readily apparent that the pair have, in fact, created a profoundly meaningful interpretation of life in the twenty-first century.

In the video, two badly misshapen iterations of children’s entertainers find themselves uncomfortably crowded into a claustrophobic portable lavatory along with a trio of disparate musical instruments, amplification, and a laptop, whereupon they commence the performance of a genre-defying piece, the lyrical subject matter of which is feces and flatulence. Each of these elements has been carefully selected for their semiotic value. The clowns represent the mutation of innocent (dare I say naive?) idealism; the computer is a stand-in for modern technology as a whole; the instruments, all at least somewhat traditional, are a symbol for our heritage; while the latrine itself is Mother Earth, now congested and polluted. Even the patently sophomoric lyrics of the song carry weight — for what has our world become but a perpetual barrage of screeching and unsophisticated humor?

That the video is titled “Hell” only serves to elaborate upon its metaphorical richness. For it is not simply an acutely-felt illustration of life in the modern world; it has metaphysical, philosophical connotations as well. Is the world that we inhabit all that there is? Have we already perished? Is existence merely a Sartre-esque night terror? We cannot know the answers, and this frustration naturally leads to the invigoration of these questions. What we are left with, ultimately, is excrement and cacophony. Or, as Shakespeare said, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Although “Hell” shall surely be part of an installation at MoMA or a museum of equal prestige sometime soon, for the time being, at least, you can engage with this fascinating video right here on the Internet:



Special thanks to executive producer Snaximus.

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