Shock art: can grossing people out be considered an art form?


In her new web series, art historian Christina Chau asks whether disgusting viewers runs the risk of closing minds instead of opening them

Emerging from a bath filled with stew – potatoes, carrots, onions and all – the art historian Dr Christina Chau is a little disgusted and not entirely impressed. “If you really want to confront people’s stereotypes, I think you’ve got to ease them into it,” she says. “I think if you make them feel uncomfortable, they’re going to think more conservatively.”

Chau is the host of ABC iView’s new web series Shock Art, and the bath was concocted (and, I suppose, cooked) by the performance artists Peter Cheng and Molly Biddle. Sitting in the tub, the nearly naked duo eat from an oily, onion-y broth, which swims around their bodies. Christina sits in with them but politely declines the degustation. The piece is called The Human Soup. “Me-nestrone” would have also been acceptable.

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March 20th, 2017 by