NYU Professor, Wafaa Bilal, created a storm of debate and reaction when he decided to surgically install a camera in the back of his head in the name of art. However, Bilal was forced to remove the device because his body was rejecting it.
“According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the setup used by Bilal — a camera held by three posts connected to an implanted titanium base — caused the man constant pain as his body refused to accept the presence of the device. Despite treatment with antibiotics and steroids, Bilal was forced to have the camera as well as one of the posts surgically removed.”
My first reaction to this news was “why art? Is this art?”
The camera was originally rigged to snap a photo every 60 seconds and is automatically sent to a Web site set up for the project. “The pictures are also displayed on monitors in a physical exhibit at a museum in Doha, Qatar,” according to The Chronicle.
My question was why didn’t he just create a helmet or hat of some sort for the project? Apparently, that crossed the minds of many. Here’s Bilal’s response:
“It’s a performance,” Mr. Bilal said. “With the performance comes endurance. But also it’s a commitment. And I didn’t feel that strapping something around my neck would be the same way I’m committed to the project as mounting it to the top of my head.”
So, do you think this constitutes art or does it cross some line? I’m still a bit shocked by the notion of the entire project. I do understand his perspective and vision for this project, but it could have been done in a less extravagant manner.