• Norway's news in English
 

Norway artist cooked and ate own hip on 'a whim'

Published: 23 May 2014 14:29 GMT+02:00

Alexander Selvik Wengshoel, 25,  made his startling claim to Nordlys newspaper at the opening of his graduation show from the Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art.
 
The hip bone was displayed as part of the exhibition, as was a film of the operation to remove it. 
 
Wengshoel told The Local that he spent a year convincing his doctors to let him film his hip replacement operation and then keep the bone. At the time he was a 21-year-old art student doing a foundation course in Oslo. 
 
"I just wanted to use it in my art. I didn't know at that time that I would boil it and eat it," he said.  "But it just came really naturally." 
 
"I had to boil off the meat to get to the bone, and when I started scraping off the meat, I took off a little piece and I thought, 'why not do it. It's not every day I will have a piece of human flesh which is mine and which it is possible to eat', so I had a little taste, and then I thought, 'that's really nice'."
 
He said that although the decision to eat the meat had at first come as a "whim", once he had decided to do it,  he wanted to make an occasion out of it. 
 
"I made myself dinner while my girlfriend was at work, and I just resolved to have this really nice moment, with me and my hipbone," he explained. 
 
Wengshoel was born with a deformed hip and endured years in a wheelchair or on crutches. He went through a series of failed operations until he was finally given his metal hip replacement when he was 21.
 
"When, from the age of three months, you experience them cutting into you and stretching your foot, and then end up stuck in a hospital bed where you are forced to endure pain and medication, then it does something to you in the long term," he explained to Nordlys. 
 
After all this pain, eating the hip brought a kind of catharsis. 
 
"The hipbone had been such a problem for me for over 20 years, and it was just a way of making it better again," he explained. "It had been so hard to have it in my body, and when I took it out, it turned into something else, something romantic. It was a natural process I felt I had to do to move on." 
 
He conceded that there hadn't been enough meat left on the bone after the operation to constitute an actual meal. 
 
"A handful, it wasn't that much, it was not enough to get full, it was just an appetiser," he said.  "It had this flavour of wild sheep, if you take a sheep that goes in the mountains and eats mushrooms. It was goaty."
 
He admitted that his art project had elicited "different reactions" at his college. 
 
"Some like it, some understand, some hate it, some get really pissed off and start yelling at me ' this is not art'. It's the whole spectrum of feelings and reactions," he said. "It's nice to get people thinking about their own bodies, and their own view on their bodies, and what it's possible to do with the body. i just work with my own body. That is my canvas." 
 
Since enrolling at Tromsø, Wengshoel has devoted himself to developing the possibilities of his own body. 
 
"Previously I wasn't given any choice by the doctors. I could neither say 'yes' or 'no'," he told Nordlys. "Now I can take control myself and decide what I want to do with it." 
 
When The Local asked whether the whole story was a hoax, he answered "It's true," but refused to  justify himself any more forcefully than that. 
 
"You can either believe it or not, that's purely up to you," he said. "I am not here to convince anyone and say 'yes, yes, I really did this'. The story is the story. Either you believe it and we can start a discussion and talk about it, or you do not believe. It's not up to me to make people believe it. I'm just saying it." 
 
Wengshoel is one of six undergraduate students showing off their work at the graduation exhibition in Tromsø titled 'No Guts, No Galaxy'. 
 
In the picture below,  Wengshoel poses in front of the hip bone from which he claims to have removed the meat: 
 
 

The Local (news@thelocal.no)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'We are lucky to have Stoltenberg': Obama
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in conversation with US President Barack Obama in the Oval Office in the White House in Washington Tuesday. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix

'We are lucky to have Stoltenberg': Obama

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg saluted US President Barack Obama for helping to push through “the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War” as the two met in Washington on Tuesday. READ  

Al Pacino pulls out of 'Nazi' Knut Hamsun play
Al Pacino at the Rome Film Festival in 2008. Photo: Andrea Ricca/Flickr

Al Pacino pulls out of 'Nazi' Knut Hamsun play

American acting legend Al Pacino has pulled out of a stage adaptation of ’Hunger’, the dark psychological novel by Norway’s Knut Hamsun, because of the writer’s enthusiastic support for Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. READ  

World’s biggest elk statue arrives in Oslo
The Big Elk under construction in China late last year. Photo: Linda Bakke

World’s biggest elk statue arrives in Oslo

Oslo this week took delivery of the world's largest elk sculpture, a ten-metre-high beast in shimmering steel which stands 30cm taller than its Canadian rival 'Mac the Moose'. READ  

'Use Myanmar aid to save Rohingya': Tutu in Oslo
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Breivik defence lawyer Geir Lippestad speaking at the conference in Oslo Concert Hall. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

'Use Myanmar aid to save Rohingya': Tutu in Oslo

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu has called in Oslo for international aid to Myanmar to be linked to the plight of the country's persecuted Rohingya minority. READ  

Norway alone in sending Eritrean refugees home
Eritreans demonstrate in Segels Torg, Stockholm for Dawit Isaak, the Swedish journalist imprisoned by Eritrean authorities. Photo: JANERIK HENRIKSSON / SCANPIX

Norway alone in sending Eritrean refugees home

Norway's right-wing government is negotiating a deal with Eritrea's repressive regime which would see asylum seekers from the country forcibly returned, even though a UN report maintains that they could face torture. READ  

Kenya accuses Norway of 'supporting terror'
Dennis Itumbi, Director of Digital Communications for Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenya accuses Norway of 'supporting terror'

A senior media official in the Kenyan government has accused Norway of “supporting Terrorism” with a post on Twitter whose hashtag by Monday afternoon briefly became the top trending topic in the country’s vibrant community of Twitter users. READ  

Man rowing entire coast of Norway
Kjell Tore Solvang takes a short break during his long journey. Photo: Kjell Tore Solvang/Facebook

Man rowing entire coast of Norway

A Norwegian man has embarked on a mission to row the entire length of Norway, from the Swedish border in the south to the Russian border in the north. READ  

Mystery skull decapitated as sacrifice: experts
Police immediately cordoned off the area of Kyrkjetangen where the skull was found. Photo: Marit Hommedal / NTB scanpix

Mystery skull decapitated as sacrifice: experts

A skull found by two walkers at a popular seaside park in Bergen may have belonged to an iron age woman who had been ritually decapitated in a human sacrifice, archeologists have concluded. READ  

Odegaard youngest ever Real Madrid debutant
Martin Ødegaard on the bench at the Estadio Bernabeu before Real Madrid's match against Almería last month. Photo: EFE / NTB scanpix

Odegaard youngest ever Real Madrid debutant

Norwegian football prodigy Martin Ødegaard on Saturday night became the youngest player ever to debut for Real Madrid, taking to the pitch against Getafe at just 16 years, five months and six days old. READ  

Norway overtakes Russia in European gas
A receiving terminal operated by Norway's Gassco. Photo: Gassco

Norway overtakes Russia in European gas

Norway has overtaken Russia as the leading supplier of gas to western Europe, according to data collected by Reuters from Norway’s state gas network operator Gassco and Russian state company Gazprom. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: 9 questions every expat should ask
Norway's men soon to be among Europe's fattest
National
Muslims form 'ring of peace' at synagogue
Business & Money
Schumacher's Norway retreat sold for $3m
National
King Harald visits Antarctic namesake
Culture
Norwegians streak the streets of Berlin
Culture
Norway couple find love on word game app
International
Norwegian chef wins world's top food prize
Politics
Solberg: The fight for freedom isn't won
National
Gaza doc named Norway's person of year
National
Norway extends Russian military freeze
National
Kjell Inge Røkke tops Norway's Rich List
International
Surprise! Norway priciest for home comforts
National
Norway terror attacks to become TV drama
International
Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate
National
Norway celebrates 25 years of Sami politics
Business & Money
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
International
Norway best country for older people
National
Muslim centre wanted on site of Munch Museum
International
Norway to send military staff in fight against IS
National
Father warns Breivik 'more extreme than ever'
National
Four-year-old Norway girl sleepwalks 4km
Travel
Cruise line offers Northern Lights promise
National
10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast
International
'If Snowden wins Nobel Prize, arrest him!': MP
Culture
VIDEO: Swim ace does 'Pool Rubik's Challenge'
National
Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'
Society
Norwegian brewery pulls 'fart-smelling' beer
Sport
Ødegaard: Norway's youngest player ever
National
Miracle cat survives 20 gunshots in Norway
National
Second death within hours at Chess Olympics
National
Norway and Sweden mark 200 years of peace
Culture
Interview: Helene Meldahl, selfie artist
Society
Now serving ... Norway's smallest bar
Travel
Floating Northern Lights hotel planned in Norway
National
Circus camel escapes again
Society
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,205
jobs available