Back in September 2017, artist Noëmi Lakmaier lay still for nine hours as a team of balloon assistants and a "bondage engineer" attached 20,000 balloons to her immobilised body. Eventually she achieved lift-off, but since she was inside the Sydney Opera House, she didn't float away.
This was the second time she performed this piece, having first performed it in St. Leonard's Church. Designboom.com explains:
the ropes that bind the artist’s immobilized body reflect bondage techniques, including shibari — a japanese art form used to emphasize the female form. in reference to lakmaier’s body, the installation seeks to raise further questions about idealized body standards. in ‘cherophobia’, the artist becomes ‘the (imperfect) object of the viewer’s gaze.’
On June 27, 1865, he learned from a prize, the Susan & Abigail, that General Robert E. Lee had surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia. Her captain produced a San Francisco newspaper reporting the flight from Richmond, Virginia, of the Confederate Government 10 weeks previously. However, the newspaper also contained Confederate President Jefferson Davis's proclamation that the "war would be carried on with re-newed vigor." Waddell then captured 10 more whalers in the space of 7 hours just below the Arctic Circle.
On August 3, 1865, Waddell finally learned of the war's end when he met at sea the Liverpool barque Barracouta, which was bound for San Francisco. He received the devastating news of the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston's army on April 26, Kirby Smith's army's surrender on May 26, and crucially the capture of President Davis and a part of his cabinet. Captain Waddell then knew the war was over.
Captain Waddell lowered his Confederate flag, and the CSS Shenandoah underwent physical alteration. Her guns were dismounted and stored below deck, and her hull was painted to look like an ordinary merchant vessel.
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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
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