An Eye for an Anus



Some citizens of Palm Springs, CA, are fighting a proposed sculpture that’s part of an AIDS memorial and that may or may not look like a human anus. The claim that it does has a group of residents up-in-arms and demanding a redesign, and the artist, Phillip K. Smith III, has agreed to take another swipe at it. The artist explained that it’s supposed to look more like an eye “that allows … a view beyond what is directly in front of you.” What’s important, of course, is not the artist’s intent but the fact that people saw an asshole (was it the ridges around the rim?), which could just be a function of the demographics of Palm Springs (would straight people have seen a sphincter?). But whether real or imagined, it’s the kind of thing that, once the anal association is out there, the concept is pretty well doomed. It is an AIDS memorial, after all.