Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Waterboard Thrill Ride

By Libby

One can hardly imagine a more fitting venue than Coney Island for this new attraction meant to appall and inform.
It looks at first like any other shuttered storefront near the boardwalk: some garish lettering and a cartoonish invitation to a delight or a scam — in this case there’s SpongeBob SquarePants saying, “It don’t Gitmo better!”

If you climb up a few cinderblock steps to the small window, you can look through the bars at a scene meant to invoke a Guantánamo Bay interrogation. A lifesize figure in a dark sweatshirt, the hood drawn low over his face, leans over another figure in an orange jumpsuit, his face covered by a towel and his body strapped down on a tilted surface.

Feed a dollar into a slot, the lights go on, and Black Hood pours water up Orange Jumpsuit’s nose and mouth while Orange Jumpsuit convulses against his restraints for 15 seconds. O.K., kids, who wants more cotton candy!
Steve Powers saw the cinderblock room next door to the freak show and thought it would make the perfect torture chamber. He's right. Brilliant concept and the perfect location for the installation. If I lived in New York, I'd pay the buck to see it there rather than wait until it's moved to the big art show at the Park Avenue Armory. [hat tip Jules]

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