Thursday, April 24, 2008

Is it ART?


Firstly I want to make it clear that despite my blogs name, this particular piece of 'art' is not by me. This is a photo of an installation art work created by Guillermo Vargas Habacuc. This is a real dog so I also want to warn anyone who searches the net to verify this story that the pictures arn't pretty.

The story goes like this...
In the 2007, the 'artist' Guillermo Vargas Habacuc, took a dog from the street, he tied him to a rope in an art gallery, starving him to death.For several days, the 'artist' and the visitors of the exhibition have watched emotionless the shameful 'masterpiece' based on the dog's agony, until eventually he died.

The artist was trying to make a point. He said that every day animals die through neglect and that in the country he exhibited in it's common to see dogs such as this one dying in the street. Yet people walk by and do nothing. What makes it different if the dog is taken from the street and put into an art gallery instead? From what I have read the artist wasn't trying to gloryify the death of the dog, he was trying to bring attention to the hypocrisy that exists and to the plight of dogs such as this one.
I for one like art that brings attention to issues of importance and maybe all of the publicity generated from such a stunt will actually result in less people simply walking by. That dosn't mean I agree with what he did, but then I wouldn't walk by a starving dog either. Maybe he could have made the same point with photographs of the dog instead of using a real dog? Maybe we would be less offended if he had used a dog that was already dead and had it preserved through taxidermy? Or maybe if we (people in general) hadn't been so shocked by the use of a real dog we would have kept walking? The use of a real dog has certainly bought attention to the subject whether we agree with the method or not.
The artist has been invited to repeat this installation work and there's a petition out to stop it going ahead.
The following is part of an email I was sent...
" the prestigious Visual Arts Biennial of the Central American decided that the 'installation' was actually art, so that Guillermo Vargas Habacuc has been invited to repeat his cruel action for the biennial of 2008. "

If you feel that this should be stopped then please sign the petition Maybe you just want to donate pet food to your local animal shelter or give a home to a dog? Follow your heart and do what ever it is your moved to do (or not do.)
If you want to verify the story just Google ..Guillermo Vargas Habacuc, you'll find plenty of opinions and photos.

On that rather somber note I wish you all a happy and peaceful day. I hope it's filled with love and light:)
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12 comments:

The Artful Eye said...

This is too much for me to comprehend. Unacceptable. I can't believe the gallery would condone or support this installation. You can prove a point without putting an animal through the same cruelty that you are trying to bring attention to.

This is not art. I feel like crying, what is this world coming to. I will be writing a letter, signing petitions whatever it takes. Absurd.

Lisa,-Thank you for bringing this travesty to our attention. Life doesnt' always present us with the bowl full of cherries.

John said...

horrible just pathetic.

Neda said...

This is simply revolting and outrageous! I was just reading this morning in "The Art Newspaper" that the German "artist" Gregor Schneider was planning to show a REAL person dying as part of an exhibition!!!! I cannot fathom this either!!!

Here's the link http://www.theartnewspaper.com/article.asp?id=7714

Bitter Sweet Metaphor Irene said...

This hurts my heart and I get very emotional and overwrought over it. We have already signed the petition as it makes its way around the world. I can't talk about it, I want to cry!

Mick said...

This isn't art - rather, a clear case of animal cruelty. In my opinion, the line between the problem with all sorts of stray animals and this act, is ridiculous and wrong.

John said...

high gallery art has become more about a gimmick than technique or vision. i blame warhol, a bit.

shock.

i am amzed someone did not come in and grab tghe dog.

i know if tow kids get lost in the mountgain\s we wil spend ten million in search parties and if 300 homeless aree freezing, etgc on the street we tend to look away. was much worse here fifteen years ago - i remeber seeing a "bum" collapsed on the sidewalk and his drool ws freezing - midtown manhattan while people walked to work, the drunk man invisible.

reagan trickle down era.

nyc is better today.

Bev said...

This is pathetic and outrageous. I will sign the petition.

It reminds me of the installation by Damion Hirst with the cow and calf cut in half which was just revolting, and another installation which should have been banned, because it was really glorifying in dead animals, but which actually brought the artista lot of money and acclaim. It may even have been the inspiration behind things like this.

Shani said...

I have read about this too. This is not art, it is cruelty, and we as human beings are no better than the dog to do such a thing. Where does Art end and just crap begin? I've asked myself this question many times. I recently saw an exhibit where the very graphic paintings were all of women, being raped by men and animals, tortured, bleeding. No one under 18 was allowed in. I guess my mind is young for its age because I walked out. I was tempted to write a post on it, but I was so disgusted I didn't want to give the artist more publicity. I had to ask myself, "If these paintings had been of a man suffering these humiliations, would they have been allowed?" There has to be a limit somewhere to freedom of expression, when that expression is overtly harmful or degrading to others, I just don't know exactly where that limit is, that's the hard question.

Frances said...

shocking. I think it is shocking because it was allowed to continue, torturing an animal
The same point could be made with a film, an animation, paintings, or even just putting a series of rescue dogs in the exhibition hall in the state they arrive - the point may be fine, but the method was cruel and unnecessary. we understand things we are told, we don't need them to be done to comprehend.
So the artist managed to make a statement about himself, the gallery and all the visitors.
horrible horrible.

Frances said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillermo_Vargas
it is possible we have been misled.

The Artful Eye said...

I took a look at snopes and urban legend and one of the two validated this actually happened.

There are no laws in Nicargua against animal cruelty.

Joy Logan said...

I still have nightmares over this ummm "art" display. Makes me ill.