Tuesday, August 27, 2002

You Can't Make This Stuff Up
Chile has its own problems with government grants for the "arts":
A Chilean art exhibition featuring dead dogs picked off the highway has stirred controversy in this conservative South American nation, particularly over the use of government funds to promote the event.

The painter and sculptor behind the exhibit, Antonio Becerra, scoured the streets of the capital collecting about a dozen corpses of dogs that had been hit by cars.

He then embalmed the mutilated cadavers and painted on their bodies, inserting pins and spikes into their preserved flesh.

Animal lovers and politicians are outraged by the "Oils on Dogs" exhibition, made possible by a $7,800 government grant.
I wonder how much they will give him if scoops up behind dogs and paints it instead?

Then there's the librarian from the Library of Congress who sold his massive porn collection to a museum. I can't really do this one justice, you have to read it, but here are a few samples:
That's right. The Museum of Sex -- a serious, academically credentialed museum opening in Manhattan on Sept. 23 -- has purchased all of Whittington's grip-and-grin photos of porn stars.

The museum also purchased -- for a sum that remains secret -- nearly everything else in Whittington's world-famous porn collection, which had filled almost every inch of his modest brick house in Clinton.

Whittington, 57, is thrilled. He figures this vindicates his 30 years of curatorial labor in the vineyards of smut. "This should give me a little credibility," he says.

Whittington's 85-year-old mother, May, who lives with him, is also thrilled.

"It got to the point where he had too much," she says. "He couldn't keep it clean."
Undoubtedly an important consideration.
Ralph Whittington learned his archival skills while slaving for Uncle Sam. For 36 years -- until his retirement in 2000 -- Whittington worked at the Library of Congress. Along the way, he was given the responsibility of overseeing the library's collection of phone books.

"I was in charge of every phone book in the freaking world," he says.
Hmm - how to relieve career frustations?
"All I did was use the same techniques that archivists use for other subjects on this subject," he says. "I hope you'll convey to your readers that I'm serious about this. This isn't brain surgery, but I'm not just a guy with a lot of big-breast magazines."


In 1976, his wife left him, taking their 2-year-old daughter. Whittington says he dealt with the pain of divorce by spending quality time with his porn collection. "It kept escalating," he says, "and when my wife left, it escalated some more."


Five years ago, when May Whittington was 80 and widowed, she moved in with Ralph and found herself sharing a home with a world-class porn collection. At first she wasn't too happy about that, but gradually she changed her mind.

"It's something he loves," she says. "You see men his age going to bars or on dope. But he's home day and night. That gives me peace of mind. . . . He's not doing anybody any harm, and he's not doing himself any harm."
How's his eyesight?

As for the "academically credentialed" museum in NYC:
"When a U-Haul opens its doors in Manhattan," Turner says, "and people start unloading boxes marked 'Gangbang' and 'Obese' and 'Ginger Lynn,' you draw a crowd."
More by following the link.

Speaking of collectors, a Gainesville neurologist had an argument with his wife who squealed to the cops about his body parts collection:
According to an arrest report, Debra Warner told police that various body parts could be found in the house.

"I also noticed three human brains contained within jars (in a solution) in plain view," wrote the officer. "The defendant stated he conducted research at his home, including dissections of human and animal body parts. The defendant showed us two human heads, numerous human brains, spines and various other parts contain within jars. The defendant also had a human shoulder with an arm attached in a ... container inside of the car garage."
Hey, everyone needs a hobby!