Thursday, 18 March 2010

Walken and Willy

I was walking down the Euston Road yesterday, minding my own business and taking a discreet interest in that of others, when something caught my eye in the window of the very grand HQ of the very wealthy Wellcome Trust. It was this display:

In case the photo's not sufficiently clear, it says:
Evidence Dolls consists of one hundred plastic dolls used to provoke discussion amongst a group of young single women about the impact of genetic technology on their lifestyle. How will dating change when DNA analystis can reveal the presence of undesirable genes? Evidence Dolls come in three versions based on penis size (small, medium and large). A black indelible marker is provided to note down any characteristics on the doll's body. Hair, toenail clipppings, saliva and sperm can be stored in the penis drawer.

Ah, yes - 'the impact of genetic technology on their lifestyle' - that's exactly what a 'group of young single women' would talk about when presented with some dolls sporting matchstick-like penises. (And I wonder why single women? Are they expected to have a fresher, less prejudiced approach to penis size? And, by the way, exactly whose sperm might get stored in the mysterious 'penis drawer'? And why put toenail clippings in there? And...)

Here are some more images. The first one permits a good view of the intriguing 'penis drawer' - I think it may also reveal a racist assumption:

This one has a gay, possibly two:

Do you feel your views on genetic technology subtly shifting yet? My favourite image is the next one as it features a Christopher Walken Evidence Doll. If you study it carefully and compare it to the other dolls you will note that Mr Walken has a penis that falls in the category of 'large':

I've always been a fan of Christopher Walken but I'm not sure what I feel about him now. The one thing I would say is that he seems to be cropping up a lot in my online life at the moment (Elberry posted that dance video, for instance, and here's a Saturday Night Live sketch I came across in the course of this, which is near where I also found this treasurable artifact:

The Roald Dahl theme seems to tie everything together, don't you think?

Anyway, I continued my walk down the Euston Road minding my own business and taking a discreet interest in that of others.


worm said...

???? those dolls are rubbish.

And the 'gay' one you point out is not actually a gay doll, but rather a realistic, doll-like representation of Paul Shane, who played Ted on Hi-De-Hi!

see here for further terrifying evidence:

Brit said...

Is it just me or is this 'project' entirely incomprehensible? I don't understand the what, the why, the who, the how and I'm a bit hazy on the where.

Gaw said...

Worm: I think they're beyond criticism. But probably not in a good way. I may well have got my id wrong but they are very small.

Brit: It's as comprehensible as a giant peach (which, come to think of it would be a better tool for provoking a discussion of genetic technology - even amongst single women with their one-track minds).

worm said...

I would actually quite like to own a small Paul Shane themed voodoo sex doll with a detachable 'transformapenis'(tm). I wonder how much they would sell it to me for?

Gaw said...

I suspect it may well be a form of contemporary art. So, ten million pounds or thereabouts, I'd guess.

Barendina Smedley said...

Having succumbed to a chest infection over the last fortnight - fever, delirium, cravings for downmarket fizzy drinks with ice, the works - and hence only today making my first, hesitant baby-steps back into the world of the living - what do I find?

This. Penis drawers at the Wellcome Collection, the perfect place to store old toenail clippings. Of course.

Next step: a chat with my GP about my current medication. But probably not about Christopher Walken.

Gaw said...

Hi Bunny! Sorry to hear you've been unwell. Can you imagine Christopher Walken as your GP? I think one would struggle even harder to stay well.

Bunny Smedley said...

On the contrary, Gareth, my GP (well, locum - the real one's off sick again) is a young, single woman - which might be worse, I mean, if she's interested in genetic technology and that sort of thing ....

zmkc said...

I just looked at the Wellcome site and they have a section on 'Effective public engagement' where you can 'find out how to make your research come alive.' Maybe this display emerged from that process - but what could the original research have been about. Actually I don't think I want to know.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Utterly confusing. "Show me on the doll where the bad man touched you". Is that it?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the what, the why, the who, the how

It's called clinical titillation. If you can figure out a way to persuade "young, single" women to talk to you about penises under the guise of advancing medical science, who needs porn?

Remember those old coming-of-age novels about young boys navigating puberty with the aid of secret, private sessions with anatomy textbooks from their fathers' libraries? They're all grown up.

Simon said...

Thanks so much for the link and I'm so glad you liked the Christopher Walken posts on 'Touching From a Distance'

No Good Boyo said...

There's a Walken moment when he begins SNL with a strange performance of "Let's Face the Music and Dance". Saw it once, never found it since. Watch The Skies!

Gaw said...

Bunny: If she is interested in that sort of thing she might find you a bit of a disappointment (all drawer, no penis, so to speak).

z: Thanks for trying but I don't think a rational approach to explanation helps, somehow.

Gadjo: I have no idea.

Peter: Aha! We appear to be getting somewhere. How wise you are.

Simon: No, thank you. A surfeit of Walken is a treat.

Boyo: A typically 'Walken' experience there, I think. I think I'd pay money to watch his hair.