Shock-seekers snap up new Aussie art dare

Mon May 14, 2012 12:11am EDT
 
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By Cecile Lefort

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Smelling excrement may not be everyone's idea of fun, but for those who like to push the boundaries, Australia's most controversial new museum may be just what they are looking for.

Dubbed "the subversive adult Disneyland", the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is located in Tasmania and features around 400 works of art from Egyptian mummies to Young British Artists including Chris Ofili and Jenny Saville.

But the most talked-about piece is the Cloaca Professional, labeled the "poo-machine." It was built by Belgian artist Wim Delvoye to mimic the actions of the human digestive system.

A series of glass receptacles hang in a row with the machine being "fed" twice a day on one end. The food is ground up "naturally," the way it is in the human body, and the device produces feces on the clock at 2 pm at the other end.

The smell is so powerful that not many visitors can take it.

"It put me off because of the overwhelming assault on the senses," said Diane Malnic, a Sydney-based accountant.

Yet this was her second visit in five months, following a family holiday in Tasmania earlier in the year. This time, she flew without her husband and children just to have another look at the collection, interested in Delvoye's other pieces.

She took great care to avoid the "smelly" parts and still talked vividly about the "vomit room" which was part of an earlier exhibit no longer on display.   Continued...

 
The installation "Cloaca Professional, 2010" by Belgium artist Wim Delvoye, which has been labelled the "poo-machine" is shown on display at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart in this undated handout picture. REUTERS/MONA/Leigh Carmichael/Handout