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The Rape Tunnel. But is it art?
15.jpg

Ummm.

So... Richard Whitehouse, an artist from Ohio is constructing a piece called The Rape Tunnel. It's an installation in a gallery, a long narrowing tunnel that can be walked through, and he's promising that anybody who enters it during the exhibition, he'll attempt to rape.

In 2007 at the Seward Projects Space in Columbus, I had my first breakthrough with an installation that was to be the prototype for this current one. It was called THE PUNCH-YOU-IN-THE-FACE TUNNEL. It was the same set-up as THE RAPE TUNNEL except at the end of the tunnel I’d punch the subject in the face instead of raping him or her. The impetus was completely reactionary to the current state of art, and motivated by pure frustration.

As it turns out, I ended up breaking the nose of the third person to crawl through the tunnel, an aspiring model. She went to the hospital and eventually sued me. Her modeling career was put on hold. The civil case was long and drawn out and the matter still hasn’t been resolved. To this day she still has unpaid medical bills. The point of this long aside is that all this took place two years ago, and I’m still having an impact on this young lady’s life, something not many other artists could claim about their work

Rape seemed like the next logical step.

There's more of this on the Artlurker site, including a Q&A where the artist goes into pretty graphic detail about his intention. It's clear from the piece that part of his objective is to generate discussion, protest, anger and debate, and I'm more than willing to play my part by posting a link here. But I think I'll forgo the show itself.

Let's discuss, on a range of subjects from morality, taste and art to internet hoaxes.

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22 Comments

By the time someone chooses to crawl down a 22 foot tunnel to an awaiting rapist, is it really rape? Since you are consensually going down the tunnel knowing that sex will ensue... Doesn't it in some sick sense become consentual sex?

Do you have any limitations on the kind of person you’ll rape?

None whatsoever. It could be men, women, old, young, fat, thin… anyone.

Well, they can only be so fat and fit down your tunnel. Aside from that I hope you get a guy who's HIV positive. Think about the kind of statement you'd make holding THAT mirror up to society.

What a shame the only way he can think of to impact people's lives is violence. He obviously lacks the intellect, creativity, and compassion to uplift someone, so he'll choose the brutish route of trying to affect people with violence. He's proud he broke someone's nose and it's still affecting her.

"The point of this long aside is that all this took place two years ago, and I’m still having an impact on this young lady’s life, something not many other artists could claim about their work."

Ummm, Hitler's actions still have a ton of affect on people's lives... Great artist?

What a dickcheese.

said Jason on September 29, 2009 2:02 PM.

Is it art? No. Or if it is then fuck art (figuratively I mean).

Also, he should have called it The Tunnel of Rape to evoke the Tunnel of Love associations. The Rape Tunnel. Puh-lease.

I hope this isn't subsidized by the govt btw.

I remember back in the late 80's early 90's hearing about some artist in NY having a show where they hung dripping bloody towels from the ceiling and while you were standing there you'd read a note that said the blood was HIV positive. Yikes!

said E on September 29, 2009 2:21 PM.

Before we all get too angry, I'd urge you all to also consider the possibility that this isn't for real. Not that I know one way or the other.

said Scaramouch on September 29, 2009 2:30 PM.

Then he'd be a cheap provecateur (sp). Which also annoys.

said E on September 29, 2009 2:36 PM.

I wonder if there are restrictions as to what you can bring into the tunnel with you. I mean, I am consenting to attempted rape by crawling down the tunnel, but he is consenting to assault by waiting at the end of said tunnel.

I can imagine a multitude of ways that I could effect his life for many, many years to come.

Hoax or not, this is pretty damn tasteless.

said Mathochistic on September 29, 2009 2:36 PM.

Where's my fukken grant?

said E on September 29, 2009 2:41 PM.

You've been had.

The tunnel: http://www.geversaircraft.com/wt/wt5x7.htm

The blog post is "performance art" I suppose. Funny.

said Elkabong on September 29, 2009 2:44 PM.

If one heads down the tunnel, and does not get raped, does that not constitute breach of (implied) contract?

Performance art aside, is this not also a service?

said Tim on September 29, 2009 2:47 PM.

What's the big deal? I, for one, love grapes.

said Don't Swayze Bro on September 29, 2009 3:55 PM.

What's the big deal? I, for one, love grapes.

said Don't Swayze Bro on September 29, 2009 3:55 PM.

That guy is a dinkus

said Vicky on September 29, 2009 11:06 PM.

Nice find Elkabong.

said Ernesto on September 29, 2009 11:57 PM.

I'm not really keen on the hostility.
Why not the "Cake Tunnel" or the "Random compliment & foot rub Tunnel"?

Less rape and more cake I say.

said Chad on September 30, 2009 2:17 AM.

The cake is a lie chad....The cake is a lie...

Vicky, I havent heard the term "Dinkus" since 1990 or so. Good one!

said Sheriff Pablo on September 30, 2009 6:28 AM.

I might make a tunnel called the "Have your money stolen tunnel".

said Steve on September 30, 2009 7:24 AM.

It occurred to me overnight that this might have been a whole lot better as the Make-Me-A-Sandwich Tunnel, the Give-Me-A Backrub Overpass, or possibly even the I'm-Ready-For-My-Blowjob Glory Hole.

said Scaramouch on September 30, 2009 9:30 AM.

or Welcome-To-My-Wind Tunnel

said Tim on September 30, 2009 9:54 AM.

If Plato's Republic existed today, we would all be allowed to beat this man with his own tunnel. Death to the pop-art infidels! Viva real mirror-holding Art!

said Daniel on September 30, 2009 11:30 AM.

Listen to the lovely bleat-chorus.
Don't they realise that rape is the new encaustic?

Red? Blue? Cubist? Impressionist? Lemme consult my stupid art history book...
No, it's RAPE!

said John on September 30, 2009 12:15 PM.

" I think it should be called the really not Rape, Rape tunnel ... "

– Whoopi Goldberg

said Ben Lurkin on September 30, 2009 12:26 PM.

Lets just say, i will laugh...out loud, if the first person to go through the tunnel has AIDS...

said Michael on September 30, 2009 2:02 PM.

Art is in the eye of the beholder. I would rather look at a painting of a landscape then this but that does not mean its not art.

said meatrun on November 4, 2009 4:01 PM.
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