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Wednesday, August 06, 2021

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Just when you thought Coney Island couldn’t get any weirder, it now hosts a “Waterboard Thrill Ride” art installation by Steve Powers.

Provocative? Yeah:

It looks at first like any other shuttered storefront near the boardwalk: some garish lettering and a cartoonish invitation to a delight or a scam — in this case there’s SpongeBob SquarePants saying, “It don’t GITMO better!”

If you climb up a few cinderblock steps to the small window, you can look through the bars at a scene meant to invoke a Guantánamo Bay interrogation. A lifesize figure in a dark sweatshirt, the hood drawn low over his face, leans over another figure in an orange jumpsuit, his face covered by a towel and his body strapped down on a tilted surface.

Feed a dollar into a slot, the lights go on, and Black Hood pours water up Orange Jumpsuit’s nose and mouth while Orange Jumpsuit convulses against his restraints for 15 seconds. O.K., kids, who wants more cotton candy!

A shame that the SpongeBob-Squidward illustration theme wasn’t carried over into the live-action portion. Although really, how effective could it be to douse a sponge with water? Y’know, with the absorptive properties probably negating the potential damage? Not to mention that both characters are already aquatic. (I know I know, I’m overthinking it…)

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/06/2021 11:24:54 PM
Category: Creative, New Yorkin', Politics, Pop Culture
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