Artist built “Rape Tunnel” a big hoax


In early-mid September of last year, a bit of blog-fodder circulated around in which Ohio artist Richard Whitehurst was planning to pull off a huge-scale installation piece involving a tapering 22 foot tunnel that forces you to crawl into a submissive position as you reach the end. The subject will find the artist waiting at the end of the tunnel where he will try his best to overpower and rape the person who crawls through. Several blogs have tried picking up the scent on Google only to find that this Whitehurst fellow does not actually exist, nor the interviewer who posted the article on ArtLurker. Does that mean that the Ohio-art-scene doesn’t actually exist as well? The end word is, that image of the mythical “Rape Tunnel” is actually a photo of an artist in front of a fan he’d built and the article was published with the intent “to spark conversation on the state of art for a few hours with coverage of an entirely fake art project.” However, it was picked up by Gawker, subsequently turning it into a huge fiasco, and ArtLurker was not able to announce that it was after all, a hoax. A project so morally destitute and controversial must be in the end, too good to be true (?). What do you guys think? Btw, B/D does not support rape…

  • Gladys

    As I have just commented in ArtLurker,

    “To be honest, when I first read the piece, I was completely intrigued and did believe in fact that in our contemporary art community today, something like “The Rape Tunnel” could happen. I’m not sure whether I support the methods in which ArtLurker used to, “stimulate contemporary art conversation”, but it at least produced some sort of debate, right?

    It just feels as if someone has pulled a really messed up joke on somebody, and no one is laughing. I bet rape victims don’t give a rat’s ass about ‘contemporary art discussion’.”

    I mean, I’m just sayin’

    By the way you should read the comment below the “supposed ArtLurker explanation”.

  • http://www.sashamlee.com Sasha

    Poor, poor bearded dude groovy who was just trying to pose in front of his plywood wind tunnel. Now his beautiful device built for flowing patterns around flying machines will forever be immortalized as a monument to art rape.

  • http://www.ffall.org freenandes

    I think the plywood wind tunnel is beautiful. I think it’s a work of art. All that wood. Huummm… I bet it smells good, pine fresh.

    Why do we have to swallow the words of these “contemporary artists”? I don’t believe in contemporary art when it comes to shitty attempts to provoke flat and boring shock reactions… It’s so boring that makes me want to say “raping is so 90′s”, “blogging fake news is so 2001″. Bravo! You made news and not art, for me to “hang on the wall”!

    Oh bugger, here comes another borenessness nausea… *Bleargh!*

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