Okay, so I made up the headline, but how cool do they look? I’ll tell you: fuckin’ awesome, that’s what! Here’s the real story behind them:
YOKOHAMA, Japan (AFP) — Tokyo had Godzilla — at least on celluloid — but now the nearby port of Yokohama boasts sci-fi monsters of its own: a pair of giant metallic spiders to help it mark an anniversary.
Weighing in at 38 tonnes each, the 12-metre (40 foot) tall creatures have drawn crowds of thousands as they crawl through Japan’s second largest city and even dip several of their eight legs into the port’s murky waters.
Steered by humans perched high on their heads, the mechanical arachnids — brainchild of French performance art group La Machine — made their debut last weekend on the Yokohama waterfront, accompanied by piano music and clouds of steam blowing from their fanged mouths.
Yokohama, south of Tokyo, invited La Machine to join celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the port’s re-opening to the world in 1859.
It helped end Japan’s two centuries of self-imposed isolation and Yokohama has since become a major gateway to the world.
La Machine’s art director Francois Delaroziere said the spider image fits well with the history of the port.
“The spider is a representation of the foreigner. She arouses phobias,” he told AFP. “Our idea is to provoke emotions among the spectators: the spider is a repulsive animal, but it’s also a creature that weaves ties.”
La Machine is known for giant marionnettes including elephants and squids that are operated by more than a dozen ‘puppeteers’ sitting on the mechanical beasts.
Audience members were awed by the spiders’ Japan debut last Saturday, and they will remain for 150 days.
150 days, Godzilla should be there by then. RAAARRRRrrr! 😀