In January I wrote a post called “Chastity Belts Gone Feral”. It looked at the work of an artist who has created a series of intricate metal “chastity belts” designed to protect women from rape. The artworks were inspired by true-life stories of rape, and the subsequent anguish as expressed by victims.
Ira Sherman, the artist, has contacted me and offered some more photos of his work. He also made some comments on his fascinating work which I’ll publish here.
“Most of the rape victims I interviewed for the exhibition wanted the rapist identified, arrested and taken off the streets while other victims felt like dishing out a heavy dose of revenge while still other victims just wanted to protect themselves from another attack and live behind security doors and protective alarms.
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“‘The Injector’ is a device that is designed to identify and capture the rapist. This device uses pneumatically powered hypodermic syringes to simultaneously inject tattoo dye and a powerful sedative into the attacker. The rapist drops in his tracks and is permanently identified making for easy apprehension.
“The “Bear Trap Corset” provides a serious spring loaded deterrent to anyone considering probing where they are not welcome. The “Cremistatic Corset” is essentially a pneumatic full body armored harness designed to slice and dice unwanted meat. Humor aside these mechanized sculptures/devices do indeed perform their prescribed functions and need to handled with great care.
“My exhibition at the National Ornamental Museum closes this month and the next venue for the show appears to be Southern Illinois University in the fall. I have indeed sold three Anti-Rape devices to date, all three sold to art collectors. The public response to my exhibition has been overwhelming enthusiastic with many thoughtful comments from people who have visited my exhibitons.”
Ira says that he gets comments from people who found the artwork disturbing but arousing at the same time, uncertain if they should be feeling that way. Many of the news outlets that featured articles about Sherman’s exhibition did not touch on this erotic aspect, but it’s certainly there, as these pics show. The devices are frightening, and look more than a little uncomfortable, but there’s a lot of power there as well. It kind of says “This is my cunt, and it’s MINE!” Only the woman can allow a lover through her metal defences. And they have a tinge of the “medieval bondage” fantasy about them as well.
I’m wondering if it’s only women who find these things vaguely erotic. With so many possibilities for injecting, slicing and dicing, perhaps men won’t be as keen.
Anyway, a big thank you to Ira for offering these great photos to me.