I am not sure if this falls into the category of suffering for your art, or proof the "foodie" craze has hit critical mass.
Alexander Selvik Wengshoel, a Norwegian artist, had surgery four years ago to replace a deformed hip. He could have gotten the surgery earlier than that, but he had spent much of the year leading up to the surgery trying to convince the doctors to allow him to film the operation, because you know- art. After the surgery, he was allowed to take his original hip bone home with him. The bone and the filmed operation have gone on exhibition as part of Wengshoel's graduation from the Tromso Academy of Art.
Okay, fine. Whatever. I'm not qualified to be an art critic. However you want to create something and call it art, knock yourself out. I am not going to argue the pros and cons of building a life-sized crucifix out of used tampons and calling it art, just whether or not the gallery has proper ventilation. Where Mr. Wengshoel's story starts taking the offramp to the weird side is when he admitted during an interview that he had eaten parts of the hip bone.
Yep. Wengshoel boiled the meat off the hip bone, and then served the bone with a glass of wine and potato gratin. Puts a whole new spin on the concept of the starving artist, doesn't it? Not to mention, what school of art does self-cannabalism fall into?
Wengshoel said he knew he was going to use the hip bone as part of a work, but the idea to try and make a dinner out of it happened on a "whim." Okay, sure. Most people have whims, they say fuck it and get a pizza for dinner instead of leftovers, but you boiled up your own hip bone and served it with a side dish. Wengshoel said he did all this while his girlfriend was at work. Something tells me that any updated versions of this story will include the phrase "ex-girlfriend."
As odd as this story, originally reported in the New York Daily News, plays out, part of me has to admire the guy's frame of thought. He was curious as to what human flesh tasted like, but at least he showed enough restraint to wait until he had a chunk of himself to try first. He said it was a way to help "purge the pain," saying after the bone had been removed, "it turned into something else, something romantic."
Yes, because we all know how cooking up a chunk of yourself and dining along is romantic. Art? Skeptical. Wise dining? Doubtful. Crazy as three kinds of crazy on a crazy boat. Absolutely, and sitting in First Class, to boot. Just wonder how long it's going to be before he tries to list this particular, ahem, work of art upon the eBay. That would be an interesting test of their policy about selling body parts.
Just some food for thought.
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