Tasmanian Museum Peddles Death

Multi-millionaire, David Walsh's assault on the senses in his new Art Museum on the banks of the Derwent river, Hobart, would seem to be an attempt to offend almost everyone. From rotting animal carcasses to the remains of a suicide bomber made from Belgian chocolate and an 'excrement machine' that mimics the human body's waste evacuation system, there would seem to be something here to shock everyone.Hardly surprising then that Walsh should claim that 'understanding' of the 'artworks' increases as a person's alcohol level increases!  Mmmm.  Replace 'understanding' with 'desensitizing' and maybe we're getting closer to the truth.

What drew me to comment on this bizzare museum, however, was the involvement of Dr. Philip Nitschke in the event.  He had flagged some connection a month or so ago in an oblique reference on his Exit website.  The details of the entire exhibition were embargoed until the launch date.  Hardly surprising.

Nitschke had provided 'technical help' to the creator of what must be the most shocking exhibit entitled: My beautiful chair by Greg Taylor.  This consists of a leather two-seater lounge chair and an adjacent occasional table supporting a laptop computer and medical paraphernalia.  As described in The Age recently, this is a 'fully functioning replica' of the machine that Nitschke created to end the life of the four people in the Northern Territory when the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act was in force.

Visitors are encouraged to 'put themselves in the hot seat' to experience 'passively' what the four people went through in the Northern Territory in the mid nineties.

Nitschke is no stranger to an outrageous stunt.  Something of a walking headline it would seem that he'll stop at nothing to promote his ghoulish agenda regardless of the collateral damage that might be caused.  In a nation like Australia where mental health issues are a major concern and where youth suicide rates are amongst the worst in the world even the most ardent activist would surely think twice about such a foolhardy endeavour.

The Age article closed by noting that the request to Nitschke had come 'at an opportune time.  Dr. Nitschke and his organisation, Exit International, had been looking for ways to broaden the debate.' (italics added)

How, Dr. Nitschke, does putting the vulnerable at risk of suicidal ideation (and even death) broaden the debate?

Read the Age article here.

Read the Hobart Mercury artilce here.