• 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
'Heroes of Telemark' dam is world heritage site
Kirk Douglas plays Dr Rolf Pedersen in The Heroes of Telemark. Photo: Screen grab

'Heroes of Telemark' dam is world heritage site

The hydroelectric dam sabotaged in the Kirk Douglas war film The Heroes of Telemark has been named as the centre of a new world heritage site by the UN’s cultural arm Unesco. READ  

Norway Police fired just two shots last year
An armed Norwegian policeman patrolling Stavanger. Photo: Mats Danielsen/Wikimedia Commons

Norway Police fired just two shots last year

Norwegian police fired just two shots in the entire of 2014, neither of which killed or injured anyone, according to statistics published last month. READ  

Video
Norwegian duct tape stunt is US hit
Kjell Heltorp in the middle of his painful stunt. Photo: Screen Grab

Norwegian duct tape stunt is US hit

A Norwegian radio reporter’s painful duct tape stunt has been shown to millions of viewers on US TV, after it was picked up by America’s Funniest Home Videos. READ  

'The glaciers are melting', Brende warns Ban
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon meets journalists on Monday. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt / NTB scanpix

'The glaciers are melting', Brende warns Ban

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has been told to expect the worst when he visits the Arctic islands of Svalbard on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Norwegian foreign minister Børge Brende warning that “climate change is happening in double quick time”. READ  

Oslo man tried to fire 'machine gun'
Photo: NTB scanpix

Oslo man tried to fire 'machine gun'

Norwegian police are chasing a man in his 60s who, witnesses say, attempted to fire a machine gun, according to Norwegian newspaper, Verdens Gang. READ  

EU report: Oslo lacks drug strategy
A heroin user injecting on the streets of Vancouver, Canada. Photo: Photo: Canada/Flickr

EU report: Oslo lacks drug strategy

A new EU report has found that Oslo, a city that for many years has topped the heroin overdose ranking, still lacks a comprehensive strategy to combat drug use. READ  

Norway proposes jailing fake asylum seekers
Welcome to Norway. Might asylum seekers now be spending time in Oslo prison? Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix

Norway proposes jailing fake asylum seekers

Norway’s justice minister has announced plans to jail asylum seekers if they do not have a good enough reason to seek refuge in Norway. READ  

Video
 Norway town breaks book domino record
The books laid out in Tvedestrand's sports hall. Photo: Screen Grab

Norway town breaks book domino record

A small town in Norway has broken the Guinness world record for the longest chain of books toppled as dominos. READ  

Charged NGO's allies slam Norway in UN
Professor Jean-François Fechino from International Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights criticises Norway's actions on the floor of the UN. Photo: GNRD

Charged NGO's allies slam Norway in UN

The Stavanger-based NGO accused of money-laundering has hit back, denouncing Norway for acting like “a totalitarian regime” during a session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. READ  

Norwegians use steroids to get 'summer body'
Norwegian customs agents made a huge steroids haul at the Swedish border this year. Photo: Norwegian customs

Norwegians use steroids to get 'summer body'

Norwegian customs officials are blaming the desire for the perfect summer body for a massive leap in the quantities of illegal anabolic steroids and testosterone seized. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Oslo is the crystal meth capital of Europe
Sport
VIDEO: Man in Norway catches fish too big for boat
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: 9 questions every expat should ask
International
'Snowden could come to Norway to collect prize'
Technology
Oslo builds world's first bumblebee highway
Culture
World’s biggest elk statue arrives in Oslo
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
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

2,212
jobs available