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Australian art museum lures visitors with ‘poop machine’

May 14, 2012

Ah, modern art.

You know how sometimes art can be so abstract that you find yourself struggling to find any point, wondering if you’re just too thick to get it? And sometimes it can be so gross as to prompt prudes to call it offensive, or “sick,” as Mayor Rudy Giuliani called the “Holy Virgin Mary” painting covered in elephant crap and porn mags in 1996? Well last year Hobart, Australia opened a museum that’s dedicated entirely to the second kind of art—the gross-out kind.

Nicknamed “the subversive adult Disneyland,” the motto of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is “to shock, offend, inform and entertain,” in that order, apparently. The “Holy Virgin Mary” hangs on display there, and MSNBC reports the museum’s new centerpiece is an exhibit called Cloaca Professional, or “the poop machine” for short:

It was built by Belgian artist Wim Delvoye to mimic the actions of the human digestive system. 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 feces on the clock at 2 p.m. at the other end.

Visitors are treated to an “overwhelming assault on the senses,” said Diane Malnic, a Sydney-based accountant who visited the museum recently. The “poop machine’s” digestive tract is much larger than a person’s, and the bi-product is so pungent that “not many visitors can take it,” reports NBC.

The “poop machine” is the museum’s latest iteration after the success of its earlier “vomit room.”

Since opening a little over a year ago, the museum has attracted 389,000 visitors. Its collection of shocking art is estimated at over $100 million.

[image via NBC]

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