It's Wim Delvoye's "Cloaca No. 5," a "'machine/sculpture' that recreates the phases of human digestion, from chewing to defecation," on display at the Université du Québec à Montréal gallery. You can buy the freeze-dried fake shit in the gift shop. Is it a faux pas to make a gift of faux poo? Perhaps you'll want to keep it for yourself.
Now, I'm reading about this not because I have a Google alert on "cloaca," but because the nostalgically nicknamed Fred4Pres linked to it in the comments to that post about Maureen Dowd. He quipped:
I know lots of op-eds, like Maureen Dowd's column, that have been doing this for years.I read, mildly amused, and then I'm stunned:
Mr. Delvoye, who will be in Montreal today for the opening, has been exhibiting various versions of Cloaca -- the name is Latin for sewer -- since 2000. His other work has included biker-style tattoos on live pigs and mosaics using tiles that carry images of his own feces.Wim Delvoye — I'd forgotten the name, but he inspired the blog post that I've often said was my best: "Tattoos remind you of death."
How I love when things come full circle, and perhaps — it seems — so does Mr. Delvoye.
Now, here in the middle of the night, I'm reading the comments on that old post about mementos, and even as I delight at the names of some commenters who are still with us, I see some that I'm sad to have lost. Like Goesh, who says:
I was blessed to have been born and raised on a farm, and we used to finger-paint the pigs. We just assumed they would like it. What pig wouldn't want to look pretty, and we enjoyed it too. Kids are kids as they say. If you scratch a pig on the stomach, it will plop down on the ground. Let's face it, it is pretty darn hard for a pig to scratch its own belly if you think about it. They can rub against things to get their sides and back and butts scratched but not their bellies. Once the pig was lying down, one sibling would keep scratching his/her stomach while the rest of us made pretty pictures. When Porky and his pals would get sent off to market, we would always check to see if any of our art went with them. Often bits of it did and we always wondered what the butchers thought when our pigs came down the slaughter line. My younger brother once remarked that maybe they wouldn't kill them if they saw our paintings. This recollection yields a bit of a sad feeling, but hard reality sets in as I recall that Keith, my younger brother, relished bacon as much as the rest of us did.We know the finger-painted pigs are long gone, but what of Goesh? He used to write poetry here too, under the moniker Lonely Donut Man/LDM.
But where are the snows of yesteryear?
Old blog posts remind you of death. Those pseudonymous commenters who are no longer with us — how can I know if they are, as they say, no longer with us? What if Goesh has scarfed his last doughnut and pooed his last poo?
I considered spelling "doughnut" his way, as a tribute to our lost poet. I looked up the old posts — here and here — where I talked about my spelling preference. The first one has some poetry by Robert Frost (and the speculation that he ate frosted doughnuts). The second one, in the comments, has a poem by Lonely Donut Man:
Verily thou could'st reference my lovely, lonely verseI hope Lonely Donut Man still waddles on this earth. If only he'd return I'd feel such... mirth!
its subtle allusions to the trans-fatty acids curse
O! Sugary, longing words of lust n'er terse
Lo!The collusion of flesh and grease, which be'th the worse?
IN THE COMMENTS: Pogo said:
In the blog commenters come and goRicpic said:
talking of loaves and donut holes.
How jejune and utterly predictable of the avant-garde it is
To make a production of pinching a loaf and spraying a whiz.