Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes

Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes

One of the things artists seem to value about FRP is that it can look like anything you want.  Case in point: the Arschbar (which, even when translated as politely as possible, comes out as “The Anus Bar”), the creation of Joep Van Lieshout, of Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Designed in 2005, (and seen here installed in the Museum Quarter of Vienna, Austria in 2010), it is an FRP representation of the human digestive tract, end to end.  The tongue, and most of what follows, is only slightly larger than life.  The final section of the large intestine, however, has been enlarged into a habitable enclosed space.

One could simply assume that Bar Rectum is a profound statement about mortality and self-knowledge, if your idea of self-knowledge involves a proctoscope.  The artist, perhaps to prevent anyone from mistakenly trying treat it an as object of sober reflection, chose to design it as a bar.  (To make this thing at all is just plain brazen.  The make it a bar is inspired.)  It can contain a full-sized mixologist and acomodate numerous patrons seated both inside and without.

This is not Van Lieshout’s only foray into anatomy-based sculptural architecture.  Other works include a huge purple sperm bar; Womb House; two rather personalized, opening heads; and a headless, bikini-clad female torso with partially amputated limbs called Bikini Bar.

(On the artist’s website, the work is labeled “Bar Rectum” but in photographs, the name emblazoned on the building itself is “Arschbar.”)

From Atelier van Lieshout:

BarRectum, Arsch Bar, Asshole Bar, Bar Anus. While the translations sound different, the form is universally recognizable. The bar takes its shape from the human digestive system: starting with the tongue, continuing to the stomach, moving through the small and the large intestines and exiting through the anus. While BarRectum is anatomically correct, the last part of the large intestine has been inflated to a humongous size to hold as many drinking customers at the bar as possible. The anus itself is part of a large door that doubles as an emergency exit.  


Images via ateliervanlieshout.com and cellar.org