Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Need I Say More?

US student is rescued from giant vagina sculpture

Two rescues, Riesending and Pi-Chacan, recently occurred in two locations of southern Germany.


Riesending Cave is an enormous pit cave discovered in 1996. The cave entrance, on an Alpine mountain 5,900 feet above sea level, is a 180 meter decent and a complex of passages branching out from there. 

The name means “Gigantic Thing” which appears to be fairly apt.

Tolkien's early art for the West-gate of Moria

My knowledge of holes in the ground consists of Disneyesque films with crazed prospectors, fantastic novels with amazing Dwarf kingdoms and one of the creepiest books I’ve ever read that involved the extermination of spelunkers by disorientation and abandonment. 

©1998 Jackie Aher. Map in Blind Descent by Nevada Barr, Putnam, 1998.

In summary, were I to find a 180 meter hole in the ground, I would not stand by the edge, much less belay down it. 


Tubingen University’s institute for anatomy, microbiology and virology evidently has a courtyard and evidently in that courtyard is a 32 ton, Verona marble sculpture of a vagina titled Pi-Chacan.  The University was founded in 1477 but the acquisition of art did not occur until 2001. Presumably large sculptures of vaginas did not come into fashion as early as the large sculpture of the penis. 

This may not be as odd as it sounds. Imagine the cost at auction if Larry Flint (owner of Hustler Magazine) and Pfizer (manufacturer of Viagra) decided to bid for a lobby statement piece.  


Johann Westhauser, a 52 year old physicist, speleologist and trained cave recuser, was part of the team that originally discovered the cave. Since that time, he has been working with a research team to explore and map the space. 

During the latest expedition, a rockfall caused a head injury and trapped him about 4 miles from the entrance. 


NOT the piece in question because this is a painting by the artist.  
Like I'm going to give it away before the end of post! 

Per the artist, Pi-Chacan means “place where the action of water has tunneled through a large rock or a mountain”, or alternatively “lovemaking” and Pi is a visual symbol of a door or vagina.

My knowledge of giant vagina sculptures and the eroticism of Pi is even less than my knowledge of large cave complexes. I’m going to defer to the sculptor.

Also NOT the piece in question 
we do have some rocks 
perhaps it is meant as an interactive piece. 

The piece is interactive and therefore meant to be “entered” and experienced by touch as well as sight.  Hmmm. . . so similar to the smaller, original version.  He clarifies that even the blind can appreciate his work.  So also similar to the smaller, original version. 


Riesending rescue result? 12 days, 728 people from five countries, several million euros and an heroic effort that was "as difficult and as unlikely as a rescue from Mount Everest." 

Westhauser thanked his rescuers from his hospital bed.  His Neurologist believes he is in good condition and will return home in a few weeks.  The entrance to the cave will be closed to the public and regulations for researching groups will be reviewed. 


Pi-Chacan rescue result? 30 minutes, 5 fire engines, 22 fireman and a fairly unpleasant topic of conversation for the American student for quite some time.  

In addition, there may have to be a sign, in English, explaining the correct method of exploration. 

As cautioned by the artist, “instead of jumping in, if he had gone in carefully he would not have had a problem.”  

So similar to the smaller, original version. 

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