Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Artistic Rape?

What is art and who decides what is defined as art? YesButNoButYes, a blog that identifies itself as “the greatest pop culture blog on the planet,” describes a developing piece by Ohio artist Richard Whitehouse entitled “The Rape Tunnel.” He is constructing an interactive tunnel art piece that ends with the viewer getting raped by Whitehouse himself. This piece is apparently a follow up to his instillation entitled “The Punch-You-in-the-Face Tunnel.”

My initial thought was: “Is this a joke? This can’t be real. Would any art museum even accept this?” While YesButNoButYEs did mention that Whitehouse is still in litigation for his last exhibit, I can’t help but wonder the implications of such a concept (hoax or not). What are the motivations for this piece? Is this art…or an attempt to perpetuate violence?

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