It’s been just about exactly 10 years since Belgian artist Wim Delvoye presented his Cloaca—a giant installation that turned food into feces—at the New Museum. He has been a somewhat scarce presence in New York recently: he’s appeared in a handful of group shows here, but his last major gallery show in the city was in 2005, at Sperone Westwater. Nevertheless, he has been busy.
The Associated Press reports that Mr. Delvoye has produced an even more elaborate version of Cloaca—Cloaca Professional (2010), it’s called. (He’s apparently produced at least five excrement-making machines.) It is now on display at the Museum of Old and New Art in Sydney, Australia, the institution “owned by eccentric and philanthropist David Walsh, who made his fortune as a professional gambler, and features one of the largest private art collections in the world,” says the AP.
Here’s the wire service describing the work:
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 faeces 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.
Thank you to Artnet for tweeting the story. Incidentally, that company’s Walter Robinson wrote about the 2002 “Cloaca” show at the New Museum, describing it as “an elaborate anti-art gesture.” (The museum served the contraption food from the restaurant Jerry’s, which was then located not far away in Soho.)
In 2010, writing in The Brooklyn Rail, John Yau proposed, perhaps only partially as a joke, that Jerry Saltz should have picked it as the artwork of the decade. Now an Australian art critic has a chance to make that happen.