Marble floor made from salami

Marilyn sez, "Belgian conceptual artist Wim Delvoye makes salami floors that look like marble. Famous for tattooing a pig with Louis Vuitton symbols and for making a food digestion machine that produces vacuum-packed poo (for sale) at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp." Marble Floor # 102 (click "Marble Floors" in the top-bar) (Thanks, Marilyn!)


  1. Perhaps “cold cuts” would be a better term to use to describe the choice of meats than “salami.” I definitely see mortadella in there, as well as other cold cuts that are not salami.

  2. It’s chorizo, mortadella and salami IMHO. I would think this funny if we were living in a Culture Orbital or something, not in a planet where people still starve.

  3. @FG – Point taken, but its art. No one would have been saved by sending these slices to some place where people are starving.

    How do you figure chorizo anyway?

  4. Bresaola has less “white” in it. That looks a lot like the cheap chorizo you can buy in slices in any Spanish supermarket.

  5. Seems unlikely to be fake. I remember the digestion machine but I’d forgotten who’d done it. Why not ask the artist? If it’s real, ask whether it’s past its sell-by date or otherwise not available for human consumption.

  6. According to the artist’s website (per the Neatorama link) it is c-prints on aluminum, no actual slices of cold cuts.

  7. @FG- Might as well criticize every other pretty-but-not-absolutely-critical thing built and shown here, then– some of the resources which went into making it could have been used to feed the starving, even if only the labor and energy.

  8. @13…

    ethical grey area for sure… this gets dangerously close to what i like to call “environmental disaster art”…

    no granted, acrylic paint (which i use) isn’t particularly wonderful for the environment… neither are most of the pigments and dyes used. really, most art has some negative environmental impact… it’s just some of it takes it to extremes… like this “installation” i saw that was just lights and fans arranged facing each other for no particular purpose.

    i’ve done research into natural paint making and dyeing… a lot can be done with that and other materials (recycled, sustainable, etc…)

    not that i’m trying to say any other artist should care about it.

  9. Hm, I believe that “c-prints on aluminum” refers to the photos of the exhibit, or rather to high-quality mounted prints. I see no reason why the exhibit wouldn’t be real meat, and the squares look thicker than cardstock or paper. Contrary to what someone suggested earlier, cured meats such as salume (pl) would not go bad rapidly. It’s still a bit of a waste, though.

  10. I retract my previous statement; Ethan appears correct. From look at the other exhibits on the artist’s website those sort of prints seem to be frequently used medium.

  11. One of my favorite stories from art school is about the digestion machine.

    In Europe when it debuted they were selling the bags for hundreds of dollars, the people couldn’t get enough. Then when the exhibition came to America, they just threw it away.

    I don’t know who comes out looking better in this story, but it’s funny anyways.


  12. Prhps bttr flr cld’v bn cnstrctd frm th rttng flsh f strvng thrd wrld chldrn. ‘m sr thy wld’v njyd hvng fw cld-cts bfr thy dd frm mlntrtn. t lst sng th skn f smn lrdy dd wld’v bn kndr thn kllng nmls fr bllsht prjct lk ths.

  13. A singular art project like this has nowhere close to the daily impact a single grocery store has with the amount of spoil it tosses into the dumpster. Lambasting this art as wasteful is just pain silly with the amount of food that is disposed because it is no longer “fresh” in first world countries. You want to make an impact for those starving children? Go out and donate your personal time and money. Besides, a lot of this art is meant to draw attention to wastefulness. Looks like it hit the intended mark.

  14. What a waste… why couldn’t the artist use printed materials? But then again, perhaps offence is an art, subjetive.

  15. @Marisa829: I would have concurred with your level of vehemence concerning the project if he had used bacon in such a manner.

    But no animals died for this art – they just ended up there.

  16. ya’ll are reading to much into this. It’s freakin cold cuts for crying out loud. and it’s cool. (cold cuts/cool) quit the vegan talk. Meat tastes goood. Pass me the mustard.

  17. @Marisa829: Go back up and look at Cicada’s comment. EVERYTHING that doesn’t directly go to helping people is wasteful. How much money do you spend on coffee that isn’t necessary? How much could you save by riding bikes everywhere? How much do you spend on new clothing when the old clothing is perfectly servicable?

    Everything we do on a daily basis is pretty wasteful, so I don’t see why everybody lashes out at art first.

  18. First of all Uncle Max, you assume a lot about someone whom you know nothing about. Second, I agree that wastefulness in all areas of society is a problem- be it clothing, food etc. But in this case, my main concern was that this floor was made of animal products and I believe the unnecessary killing of animals for our enjoyment whether it’s food or clothing, is wrong. But now having visited the artist’s site, I have learned that the salami tiles are merely photographs, as speculated above in earlier posts. With that being clarified, I’m pleased. As an artist myself, I don’t lash out at art unless I find it necessary. Often art acts as a change for the greater good of society, opening minds and enlightening us with ideas, but If this art had actually been constructed of animal products, I’d still continue to lash out because I would consider it unethical.

    As for your points about coffee, cycling etc. Since you don’t know me, I’m happy to inform you that I live in Europe where having a car isn’t necessary at all. I use public transportation or walk (maybe that’s why people aren’t as obese here). I reuse items as much as possible and though I don’t drink coffee, I buy fair trade and organic products whenever possible. But what has an even greater impact is refusing to use animal products which cause harm to our environment, cause suffering in living beings, and have ecological alternatives.

    Everything we do on a daily basis doesn’t have to be wasteful as you suggest, unless we agree to stand by and let it happen that way.

  19. Marisa @22, 27: Sagrado Corazon, you want to try that again and see if you can’t do better next time? It’s disrespectful to come down on top of the conversation with both feet like that, especially when you’re wearing hobnail boots.

    Biscuit4: Yes, she hit first. I understand the impulse to hit back.

    Momfert @36, those are not traditional Islamic patterns. Also, some of the hypothesized cold cuts are beef, not pork. Also, the project would be non-Halal no matter which cold cuts got used. But the main point is that those aren’t specifically Islamic patterns.

  20. Dear Teresa, thank you for your wise and calm influence here, and I’m glad you’re feeling well enough to blog again.

  21. @Marisa829: Apparently, like you, I was working off of a poor assumption (your assumption that the artist used real meat, and my assumption that you were a fellow average American who would be guilty of at least one of the three things I mentioned). I’m glad you go to the trouble of reducing your personal effect on the environment which is what most of my points focused on. However, all of the cruelty-free and fair trade products in the world won’t help the starving third world children that you mentioned. Both are important goals, and neither is argued for often enough.

    I still say this is not a target that needs attacking, because even if that were all real meat, it’s far less than is wasted by the local restaurants in any small town at the end of the night. And this way, as art, it provides something more to humanity than filling up space in a dumpster out back.

    If we’re going to go after wastefulness, most sports, entertainment industries, and tourism industries would be my targets, rather than an isolated artist.

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