crayfish neck

From the Introduction to Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia Volume 1

Some tattoos may be regarded as the voice of the outside world, such as ‘You can’t escape your fate’. Some refer to what a man is going to suffer in the future. The acronym OGPU (Unified State Political Administration) stands for ‘O God, help me to escape!’ Texts like this can dictate the future, since the man wearing them accepts them as a programme of behaviour to be acted out. In this way a tattooed body is capable of ordering life and shaping fate. A man becomes totally dependent on the symbols of his tattoos. And since tattoos possess a distinct ‘ritual magic’ subtext that manifests itself in various ‘talismans’ such as ‘God is with you’, tattoos effectively transform a man into the hero of his own criminal ‘myth’. A living person is transformed into a character in the world of tattoos.

-Alexei Plutser-Sarno




~ by ironcupshrug on 12/18/2010.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: