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Willem Boshoff

2470 mm (width) X 870 mm (height)

Weight: ±100 kg

Rusted steel base, 21 used animal traps, also called gin traps, including solid blade spring traps, thin jaws opening traps, broad jaws opening traps and waverley jaws.

Labia Dentata

  • I understand that we have to be proactive in managing animal conservancies. I know that this often means manipulating animal movements and culling. I have a fair grasp of the complexity of the arguments for and against the killing of predators set on attacking farmers’ livestock.


    What I don’t get is the extraordinary pain that is often inflicted in order to cull and further the pride and joy experienced by some who see the killing of an animal, especially a large or scarce one as a special photo-moment, to be remembered through a display of manliness. I am rather sick of the conceit of the great hunter, one boot triumphantly planted onto a dead animal whilst a rifle, crossbow or such is proudly held on high.


    Someone has to explain the difference between the macho trophy hunter and those men desperate for rhino horn potions that produce sexual ecstacy. Why are we up in arms at the reasons for rhino poaching and not at misplaced pride from the shooting of lions, leopards and other ‘desirable’ wild life. I cringe at the trophies of mounted animal heads and hunters’ proud-moment images with dead animals enlarged and framed in bars and living rooms. I must confess, to me rhino poaching, trophy hunting and bullfighting are all the same goddamn thing – men looking to project an erection or, worse still, to show off the size of their membrum virilum – ‘big dicks’ as my American friends are fond of saying.


    Labia dentata or vagina dentata is Latin for ‘toothed vagina’, a term coined by Freud who believed it to be an unconscious collective fear in every male. The fear dwells on the fact that men are afraid that their wives want to slice off their genitals. I offer the animal traps in my work LABIA DENTATA as sobering devices for the apparantly fearless hunter. Their posturing is nothing but a Freudian slip, an attempt at hiding real fears. If the tables were turned, they would all be ‘bobbited’ in the most gruesome manner. The word ‘bobbit’, still something of a neologism, is now acceptable in most dictionaries, including the Oxford English Dictionary. The abusive John Bobbit had his ‘prependent’ severed and disposed of by his wife Lorena in 1993. Fortunately for him the damned member was discovered on the road and reattached to his pelvis. He later made a full recovery and tried to turn his life around.


    Finally, the earth has a way of avenging itself. The mother as life-giver and as destroyer is nowhere better illustrated than in the Indian myth of the archetypal Kali Ma, or Dark Mother of all, in whom all things begin and end. This concept is allied to that of the devouring female, whose symbol is the labia dentata, one of the images associated with the ‘mouth of hell’ – the proud hunter entrapped in a Brueghelish nightmare, his blood and guts for all to gawk at.



    Willem Boshoff

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