long live the new flesh

Flesh Gun:

Dutch artist Joanneke Meester holds up a replica pistol made out of an eight-inch piece of her skin. Joanneke made the pistol from a flap of her own skin which was surgically removed from her abdomen. The puckered skin was stretched and sewn with nylon over a plastic and fiber mold.

"If everyone made a pistol from their own skin, I think they would think twice about using a gun. I think there would be less violence in the world," she said. "But it's not that easy. Violence will always exist."

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43 Responses:

  1. deadprogrammer says:

    What, no bullets ground out of her extracted teeth?

  2. drsmax says:

    What's the point of a meat gun if it doesn't shoot teeth a la eXistenz?


  3. gordonzola says:

    1. ewwwww.

    2. was surgery really necesary to make such a facile statement?

    3. ewwwww.

  4. candid says:

    "The art world is no stranger to controversy."

  5. bifrosty2k says:

    Its nice to see that people are so out of touch all over the world...

    At least this one endangered her life to try to proove her point. Thats really getting some skin in the game...

    • mmm_breakfast says:

      what's so "out of touch"? she's trying to address current issues. i don't think it's a great work of art either, but i figure it's less out of touch than, say, abstract expressionism or other works done in more acceptable media.

      if it was "surgically removed", i don't think there was any great risk to her life. and it was her own skin, she can do what she wants with it. it's just another medium.

      • semiclever says:

        Not all art is political, nor should it be.

        To me, this work is just another piece of shock art, and I find shock art pretty boring.

      • bifrosty2k says:

        out of touch == thinking guns/knives/bats cause violence

        Blame someone else, never the individual, thats out of touch with reality.

        Any surgery can be dangerous, even a skin-removal.
        The risk of infection, shock, and over-anesthesia is always there, and you can die. People die from Liposuction...

        • mmm_breakfast says:

          maybe the gun was more of a symbol for violence in general than for the cause of violence. she's not blaming anybody - she's showing a relationship. it's fine that she could have died, i'm sure she understood the risk of elective surgery.

          why the super-negative attitude? i don't understand it.

          • bifrosty2k says:

            If you read up at the top, she says "If everyone made a pistol from their own skin, I think they would think twice about using a gun. I think there would be less violence in the world"

            That seems fairly straightforward to me :)

            Asking about negativity in JWZ's lj... tisk tisk

      • lars_larsen says:

        There is no such thing as a "safe" or "minor" surgery.

  6. chrs says:

    guess everything about the dutch from austin powers 3 was right. *shudders*

    (i love globalizing and believing in stereotypes!)

  7. origamipoptart says:

    "If everyone made a toothbrush from their own skin, I think they would think twice about skimping on dental hygiene. I think there would be less tooth decay in the world," she said. "But it's not that easy. Plaque will always exist."

    • origamipoptart says:


      • baconmonkey says:

        "If everyone made a ski-mask from their own skin, I think they would think twice about robbing banks. I think there would be less robbery in the world, But it's not that easy. banks will always exist."

  8. zhixel says:

    Damn, that's stupid.

  9. phreddiva says:

    Glorified Tummy Tuck?

    • mmm_breakfast says:

      that's a little unjustified, don't you think?

      • phreddiva says:

        She could have been having a few inches taken off, and decided to make a statement with it... of course, I can't access the article so I don't know...

        • mmm_breakfast says:

          do you think she deserves that assumption?

          • phreddiva says:

            Well, since I'm not taking this all that seriously...
            Yes, she deserves it. And a serious tongue-lashing, too, because she was probably a pain in the neck as a child.

            • mmm_breakfast says:

              yeah, maybe it's just my missing sense of humour, but i was surprised how all the comments about this were negative - not just against her artwork, but ad hominem attacks, too.

  10. down8 says:

    "If everyone made a pistol from their own skin, I think they would think twice about using a gun. I think there would be less violence in the world," she said. "But it's not that easy. Violence will always exist."

    My nomination for the dumbest sentence ever uttered by a human.


  11. irma_vep says:

    I saw that movie Existenz for the first time last night, and between her skin gun, the " trout farm " and the slimey gun with the teeth from the movie, my half ass vegetarian ways are now full fledged.

  12. fortysevenbteg says:

    I love the quote. First she justifies this stupidity by saying that "if everyone made a pistol from their own skin", it would somehow cause people to think twice about using real guns. I can't even formulate words to describe that.

    But then she turns it around at the end, saying that "it's not that easy", and "violence will always exist".

    So why the hell did she bother at all, if apparently, by her own admission, it was a waste of time?

    I'm not sure who's worse, however, people like her, or others who see what she did and hail it as some huge symbolic gesture towards cosmic peace. Complete horse shit.

    However, I bet the people at Hallmark would love to make this into a Christmas ornament in time for Xmas '04.

    • jwz says:

      Because of my unshakable faith in the basic goodness of humanity, I have to believe that she did this for the obvious reason -- to squick people -- and shd doesn't actually believe the whole "statement against violence" BS.

      "I want to believe!"

  13. lars_larsen says:

    I was just outside firing my rifle in the morning for no particular reason.

    How fitting. Yeah, if only I had sewn a gun out of my own skin instead of putting holes in an oil drum. That poor sheet metal could have been saved.

    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." -- Hunter S. Thompson

  14. exiledbear says:

    Most of the time, they are down-to-earth, common-sense people. But every once in a while, one of them will get an idealistic bug up their *ss, and when that happens, get out of the way, or you could find yourself missing some skin.

    Most of the time, they just talk and argue, and they do a lot of it.

    This is the same vibe that moved those German gay cannibals to "have dinner". I don't understand it, and I probably never will. I guess you just have to be born and raised here. I hesitate to say it's a Continental thing, as I really couldn't see a Frenchman or an Italian doing anything like this. It's definitely a Germanic thing, that's for sure.

    • nelc says:

      So the only Americans who have eaten human flesh are of Germanic descent?

      Or are you just talking about artists making controversial statements? Yeah, I can see that Jeffrey Dahmer looked very Aryan, and as for that Janet Jackson....

    • jwz says:

      Thank you for spelling "ass" with an asterisk, so as to avoid upsetting anyone who might be find that word offensive. Also, the irony of your concern over using a three letter word within your statement of prejudice against an entire country is not lost on me. Bravo!

      • exiledbear says:

        I'm not predjudicial. I am ruthlessly postjudicial, however.

        If you found the post offensive, you can always delete it, you know.

  15. nelc says:

    If everyone made a pistol from their own skin, I think they would think twice about using a gun.

    Not necessarily. There'd be people cloning acres of their skin just so they can have a portable 6-barrelled 4.5mm Minigun...

  16. spendocrat says:

    Agent Scully?

  17. sterlingnorth says:

    Somewhere down in Texas...

    "Hey, Jimbo... you never guess what I did?"
    "What, Billy-Ray?"
    "Well, you know my honey was beggin' me for one of them tummy-tuck surgeries that all them Hollywierd stars get to look all manniquin-like. Well, anyway after they were done carving her up like a turkey, we had this slab of skin left over. The doctors were goin' to just chuck it into the dumpsters, but then we saw this girl from Europe --probably France or something -- who decided to make a gun out of her stomach flap. Now you know, I prize having the largest collection in the tri-county area, but nothin' in there to remind me of my honey. What better way to show I love my wife just as much as my Colt, I thought, than to make a gun out of her gut."

  18. endquote says:

    ...but perhaps this would be good for your next robot overlords update.

    No idea at all what the context is... my mom sent it to me.

  19. ladyjalana says:

    "If everyone made a pistol from their own skin, I think they would think twice about using a gun."

    Everyone should indeed think twice before using a firearm. I hope the quality of their thought is higher than the thought that went into this project.