It was there one moment and gone the next. A phallic sausage statue installed in Iceland’s capital was castrated by an anonymous vandal whose motive is believed to be a political response to a scandal in the Nordic country.
The sculpture, Litla Hafpulsan (or The Little Mer-Sausage, 2018) by artist Steinunn Gunnlaugsdóttir, was erected in Reykjavik’s Tjörnin pond as part of the Cycle Festival of Music and Art in October. Festival director Gudny Gudmundsdottir said she reviewed security images of the night in question:
but it only takes a photo every two minutes, so in-between these two minutes it’s standing and then it’s gone. The pond is covered in ice so someone probably just walked by and gave it a big karate kick.
Ironically, the sculpture is an homage to The Little Mermaid by Nína Sæmundsson, which was blown up in a still-unsolved act of vandalism in 1960. The destruction of The Little Mer-Sausage came at the end of a scandalous week in Icelandic politics. The country, often cited as being at the forefront of gender equality, was rocked after a surreptitious recording was made of six politicians making light of a domestic abuse victim, making misogynistic comments about their female colleagues, and disparaging a former member of Parliament with a disability, among other offenses.
"I don’t know if the two things have anything to do with each other, but many people see it like that," Gunnlaugsdóttir said in a statement to The Art Newspaper. She will repair the statue and the temporary installation will remain in place for another two months.