The focus of this study is to analyze Dana Schutz's Self-Eaters painting series in the context of Mikhail Bakhtin's carnivalesque theory in his book Rabelais and His World. The first chapter provides a brief introduction to carnivals and the carnivalesque theory, to establish a foundational understanding of the framework. According to Bakhtin, carnivalesque manifests in art as renewal, rebirth, and bodily waste, emphasizing the body and bodily functions while subverting established social hierarchies and norms. In the second chapter, selected paintings from Schutz's Self-Eaters series are analyzed in the context of carnivalesque theory. The Self-Eaters depict figures engaging in auto-cannibalistic acts with a vivid color palette, contrasting the horrifying content of the paintings, offering commentary on the relationship between body and self and the boundaries between life and death. This study concludes that Schutz's Self-Eaters series can be analyzed through the lens of carnivalesque theory, which emphasizes renewal, rebirth and corporeal with this contrast.
Keywords: Carnivalesque, Dana Schutz, Self-Eaters, Mikhail Bakhtin, Contemporary Painting