Megumi Igarashi, a Japanese artist keen on exploring taboo images of the human body’s many marvelous forms and functions, has been arrested in Tokyo for the second time after authorities suspected her of sending a url “that shows her plan to create a boat using three-dimensional obscene data to a large number of people”. Igarashi, who works under the name Rokudenashi-ko (“Good-for-nothing Girl”), was arrested on similar charges in July, charges relating to her efforts to raise funds for the production of a 3D-printed kayak made in tribute to her own genitalia.
“I don’t believe my vagina is anything obscene,” Igarashi told the press in July. “I was determined I would never yield to police power.” Her most recent arrest could see Igarashi charged with ‘distributing or holding obscene materials for the purpose of selling’ and facing a 2.5M Yen or USD $21,000 fine and/or up to two years in jail. And all for showing a replica of her genitals to art patrons and audiences who, odds are, either have similar physical makeups or have seen such body parts up close and personal many times before.
Article 175 of Japan’s Criminal Code, written in 1907 and remaining virtually unchanged in its present form, classifies depictions of pubic hair and genitalia as obscenity – hence the ridiculous pixelation of genitals in most Japanese porn – and could prove the undoing of controversial artist Igarashi, who is still being held even after the release of a women’s sex shop proprietor also arrested in connection with the enormously controversial work. Denying her visits from anyone aside from her legal team, Tokyo police appear to be relentless in their pursuit of a conviction, but not necessarily because of any alleged danger the artist’s work might pose to the public. Igarashi’s attorney, Takeshi Sumi admitted that “Since the arrest last time, [Igarashi] has been very vocal in her cartoons and speeches criticizing police. They seem to have arrested her again [her third without being yet indicted] again to safeguard their integrity.” Well, while it sure makes our local police issues seem like the fucking apocalypse in comparison, Megumi Igarashi’s story is one we should treat with the utmost seriousness.
Many Parisians are outraged over the latest sculpture to be erected in public view. Standing 24ft above the Place Vendrome in the French capital, ‘Tree’ by American artist Paul McCarthy has raised eyebrows for its startling similarity to not a traditional Christmas tree it is said to represent, but an thick green butt-plug.
McCarthy, something of an art world provocateur, created the piece for Foire International d’Art Contemporain (FIAC), an exhibition running in Paris until the end of October, in the hopes that it’d be accepted, even enjoyed by the allegedly sexually liberal French. Placed adjacent to the Vendrome Column, a monument erected by Emperor Napoleon after defeating the Roman army at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805. Many Parisians failed to find McCarthy’s irreverence amusing and instead of ignoring the piece for the duration of its exhibition, took to vandalism to make their point.
Severing the ropes that held ‘Tree’ upright, outraged Parisian vandals cut the offending object down to size, leaving it lifeless and deflated, flaccid even, in the city square before eventually being removed by organizers. McCarthy has fired back at his attackers – an irate Frenchman struck McCarthy in the head multiple times at the piece’s unveiling – in a statement made to artnet News: “Instead of the piece being about a discussion about how objects exist as language with layers of meaning, a violent reaction occurred. I am not interested in the possibility of such confrontation and physical violence, or continuing to put those around the object at risk.”
Unfortunately, though, ‘Tree’ doesn’t seem to speak to cases of sexual violence perpetrated against those still, in the year of your chosen deity 2014, find themselves persecuted simply for being more sexually interesting (read: positively perverted) than their decriers, instead drawing much attention to McCarthy’s fecally-reminiscent Parisian exhibition, Chocolate Factory, opening Saturday at Monnaie de Paris. What a wasted opportunity.
The Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi vehicle Total Recall was released in 1990 and remade in 2012 and both movies feature the brief appearance of a woman with three breasts, an alien creature hell bent on being fondled by a three-handed man (or maybe three one-handed men). Although Kaitlyn Leeb (the actress playing the role in director Les Wiseman’s 2012 remake) courted controversy when she wandered around San Diego Comic Con with her three fake tits almost completely exposed, it took a full 14 years for someone to take such strong inspiration from the three-boobed woman that she’d attach a third breast to her own chest, going through 50 plastic surgeons before finally finding one who’d agree to the absurd procedure. The kicker, though, is that Florida massage therapist Jasmine Tridevil claims to have opted for a third breast to make herself “unattractive to men”.
Clearly not thinking her body modification nor the motivation behind it through very thoroughly, Tridevil seems to have forgotten that heterosexual men will do almost anything for access to a pleasing pair of breasts. For three, why, they’d attempt to colonize Mars singlehandedly. How she hopes to shirk male attention is… well… they’re fake. Obviously.
Aside from videos showing off her new rack in a tri-kini, answering questions from interested parties, and claiming that the unemployed are jobless by choice alone, Tridevil’s YouTube channel fails to provide any evidence to support her claims of authentic third-boobery. What does appear, though, are links to news items refuting her claims and the following interview with Tampa’s WTSP:
I suppose we’ll find out the truth when Tridevil’s self-produced reality show is eventually picked up by MTV (which she seems convinced will happen any day now). Episode six allegedly contains footage of the “star” walking along a beach in the same tri-kini she modeled in multiple YouTube videos as well as on WTSP News, when she told reporter Charles Billi she’s willing to do anything to become famous. While Tridevil’s new appendage may remain under suspicion, she’ll have her chance to tell the whole truth when (or better said, if) her show hits TV screens everywhere.