Gargoyles are public sculptures in stone. We are familiar with them from the facades of medieval cathedrals where they are placed high above the ground representing fantastical or grotesque creatures. Balancing on the edge between sculpture and architecture, they often have a practical function as gutters to lead rainwater away from the building. Symbolically gargoyles were meant to ward off and protect against evil spirits by possibly being even more frightening than their imaginary adversaries. The name comes from the French word for throat and is mimetically related to the gurgling sound of water they emit in rainy weather when water flows through their open mouths.
Gargoyles appear as hybrids between humans and animals, horror and comedy, form and formless. They are carved by anonymous artists as collective expressions of fantasies or nightmares, but the best of them typically have individual characteristics pointing to highly personal interpretations of a shared form. They seem to make physical what is invisible to the official culture, similar to the fanciful drawings in the margins of medieval manuscripts. Gargoyles are peripheral entities originating from the popular culture throughout time, its obsessions and contradictions. They give form to that which we are not in control of or can't understand.