In order to find out the roles of the grotesque in contemporary visual arts, I introduce four recent critical books on this topic. These critical writings prove that the grotesque is supported by notions borrowed from other disciplines. For example we meet Kristeva’s abject from psychoanalysis and most often Bakhtin’s grotesque realismfrom the socio-cultural discourses. These terms are all productive in describing the grotesque in visual culture, but I nevertheless emphasize the return to the etymology of the word “grotesque”. Describing the role of the grotesque I start with the re-interpretation of the Bakhtinian idea: grotesque is the border of art and life. This leads to the description of the perception of grotesque artwork, where the openness (Eco) of the artwork insists on the intrusion of the spectator. This intrusion is executed with the help of the grotesque that provokes and wins the attention of the spectator and with the involvement of the spectator, s/he becomes the spectacle itself.
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