Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Craziest Man in America?

This post started as a stream of consciousness Saturday thing that I saw someone do... though now I honestly can't remember who. Sorry!

But, anyways, in the midst of my stream-of-consciousness writing, I was also on Facebook (one can only think about ice cream and puppies for so long before it gets boring to readers) and I came across this article.

Yes, it IS called "The Rape Tunnel."

See, there's this guy named Richard Whitehurst in Columbus, Ohio who is generating a lot of media attention, not to mention protests, because of an "art project" he's working on. The project? A rape tunnel. [The article itself is an interview and I think you should read it in it's entirety to really understand it, but I'll put some key quotes here.]

He describes it as a "22 ft tunnel [made] out of plywood that leads into the project room. There is no way in or out of the project room except for this tunnel. As you travel through the tunnel, it gets smaller and smaller, making it so that you have to crawl and put yourself in a submissive position in order to reach the tunnel’s destination. At the end of the tunnel the subject will find me waiting in the project room and I’ll try to the best of my ability to overpower and rape the person who crawls through."

He concedes that there will be a sign on the door to it, warning people what it is and what will happen to them if they enter, which may or may not make it consensual, but that's not really that point. When asked Why rape? he said it was because "as an artistic gesture" it was the "most impactful" he could think of. He originally did something he called "The Punch-You-In-The-Face Tunnel," which is obviously less awful but ended up ruining a model's career. To this day, the matter still isn't settled, and he takes joy in that, saying, "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." He goes on to say that "rape seemed like the next logical step."

Seriously? You're deranged.

Let's take morality out of this for a second -- how does punching progress to rape? I would think the next logical step was breaking an arm or stabbing or shooting them in a non-fatal way. Rape might come after that, followed by murder. Now, let's put those morals back in: Uhm. Hi. Rape? ILLEGAL. It's mentally and emotionally damaging to men and women alike. Some people that are raped tend to commit suicide and/or start raping other people and/or start killing people. Is that SERIOUSLY the effect you want on society? You want to be thrown in association with famous serial rapists such as Ted Bundy and Robert Leroy Anderson? Seriously!?

The interviewer even asked, "Is your intention to ruin people's lives?" His response: "Possibly. I’m not necessarily concerned with the positive or negative effects of this project so long as there is some effect on people’s lives. I’ve merely set up a situation where there is potential to impact people in meaningful ways." [I added in the italics.] Yet, this same man later says that he thinks rape is "morally reprehensible," and mentions it should "generally not be allowed in society." Generally? Does that mean there's a time when it's a good idea?

His goal in all of this? " I’m trying to totally reconfigure art’s importance in the world and make it meaningful."

I'm pretty sure there are other ways of going about that. Try doing it without ruining lives.

[img cred: artlurker]

Read my follow up story here!


  1. Appalling.

    The guy needs help.

    Visiting you from SITS.

    Sweet dreams.

  2. Hiya! I'm blog-hopping through SITS' rollcall, just because:)

    About the rape tunnel...he could probably get away with it, b/c it's clearly marked at the entrance and anyone foolish enough to enter would be consenting, right?
    Wouldn't it be interesting if someone did shimmy their way through the tunnel, into the room and then resisted? Won't take no for an answer? Then they pull out a gun and shoot the nut(artist)? Guess it would be considered premeditated.
    Let's just hope that nobody sees the inside of the tunnel.

  3. He may get away with it on earth but he will pay in the end. What a sicko.

    Just blog hopping through SITS rollcall. This is my fist time on your blog and your layout is cute, cute, cute!

    Have a great weekend!

  4. This might be the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Anyone who is pompous enough to put their "art" above another persons' physical, emotional, and psychological well-being is completely reprehensible. Disgusting. I'm sure he'll be arrested if there's already enough media attention. I don't think reading a sign that most unknowing people would take to be a joke counts as consent anyway.


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