Friday, April 25, 2008
Petition to Prevent Death Spectacle
Some of you may have received some devastating photos and a link to sign a petition to save another dog's life from the art world which seems to be racing thru the internet like wildfire, thankfully.
But if you haven't, you might want to read the contents this petition and consider adding your name to the list:
From the limited information one can gather from this link, an artist named Guilliermo Vargas hired five children to capture a stray dog in Managua and then tied him to a rope in an art gallery. The artist and visitors of the exhibition watched while the dog starved to death in the gallery almost as though it were a performance piece. And the Visual Arts Biennial of the Central American has invited Vargas to recreate this "installation" in the biennial of 2008.
Does this sound like some totally bizarre parody of what the art world has come to? Am I missing something that would help to make this make more sense?
My friend speculated that this piece was intended to call attention to how we see animals starving on the streets all the time in real life and turn our backs to it, and by tying the animals to a rope in the gallery, the artist is calling attention to this kind of suffering. Except that if we tied a helpless person to a rope in gallery and watched the person starve to death, it doesn't quite add up to meaningful art that most of us could stomach.
I'm perplexed and disturbed, so if anyone has more insight on this story, please let me know. I first saw the photos of this dog and read the petition shortly after returning from my trip out west, where seeing stray dogs roaming in parking lots and streets in Arizona was already heartbreaking enough. And having photographed some dead animals and a dog who was taking it's last breathes on a street in Ship Rock, NM, I hope there is a significant moral distinction between between the act of capturing suffering, violence and death and the act of causing suffering, violence and death in the process of making art.