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April 16, 2008

Comments

GlennT

This art work should inspire people to action. There are plenty of animals in your own backyard that need care and concern. Signing a petition to stop an artist from making his point is not going to help them. If this cruelty disgusts you, do something real about.

Janey Yonkers

GlennT, why do you assume that people who sign the petition to stop this guy aren't already working to prevent animal cruelty in other ways? Why can't I volunteer at my local shelter AND sign this petition? People can take more than one action. But even if they only do one thing, like sign the petition, that's still better than doing nothing at all. What do you do to stop animal abuse? Maybe you can give other people some good ideas.

jhn

hoax.

the guy

Hi, this is the guy as in the guy who can only afford to talk smack about his employers anonymously. At my place of work a drug trial was run using beagles. This was for litigation purposes only and had no scientific merit. At least with this guy there is no question as to who is actually culpable.
Whereas the cruelty to the beagles used by my employer could be blamed on the legal and economic system, in fact in this instance, internationally. I've never been a big animal rights guy. No matter how many ermine you set free the rest are never going to organize. In some instances for some research there may be no alternative than to use lab animals. This example and the example I gave are just gratuitous and disgusting and the artist is incurring quite a personal risk.

Kat

jhn - undetermined, according to Snopes. Still qualified for douchehood in my book.

schlep

Interesting that this story is not being printed in any reliable newspapers, sources.
I say Hoax.

Alison Randall

Maybe it would be art if someone went in and took the dog away? Just farking go in there and take the damned dog, if the employees won't.

Bronwyn C.

To Listener Schlep: By "reliable," do you mean English-language? What about Spanish-language newspapers in Nicaraugua, Honduras, and Costa Rica? Or do you mean US newspapers? What about the Guardian (U.K.) and the Globe and Mail (Canada)? Scopes seems to say the hoax factor concerns whether or not the dog actually starved to death in the gallery, but there seems little question that the artist (and by "artist," I mean SuperDouche) really did put a starving dog on display.

schlep

Bronwyn; sorry, you're right about the Guardian, I didn't see that before - presumably they have fact-checkers! And I would go with Spanish language newspapers, if I could read Spanish...
anyway a general Google search just came up with a lot of blogs, which aroused my suspicions.
It just seems perfect hoax-fodder, with an online petition to boot.

Bronwyn C.

Hi, again, Listener Schlep: You're right, it really does seem like hoax fodder, and in fact it was first sent to me by a friend who is notorious for falling for the most egregious internet hoaxes, so I tried to check it out as thoroughly as possible before I posted it here.
Never let it be said that WFMU's Beware of the Blog fell for an internet hoax or scam!
I think maybe the number of blog posts just reflects the fact that, more and more, we get our news from the Web (for reasons I won't go into now). As for myself, all I know is what I read on the Internet.
And I never met a Listener I didn't like.
-Bronwyn C.

jmet

I believe in freedom of speech/ expression just as much as the next American. However that does not mean art should not have its own set of ethical guidelines. Not "morals" persay, but just like every other aspect of life it should keep basic human - and animal- rights in mind. You can make great art that is socially progressive without resorting to intentionally hurting an individual or group of people. I have a real prolem wiht art that is wasteful and/or hurtful to another living thing or group. I'm sure Super-douche has a very insightful point he is making with his douchebaggery but I hope as he grows as an artist he can find more creative, clever ways to express himself.

dei xhrist

It is a high emotion item. If it is true, did any gallery visitor take action (very likely especially in light of the petition), and were they prevented from saving, feeding, or mercy killing the dog by the artist, the gallery staff, the other visitors, or the police? Not likely. Ergo, from our safe haven of web audience, hoax.

illlich

Certainly, if this is true, it is horrible and disgusting. . . but. . .

As the Snopes article points out, there is no solid evidence that the dog was actually starved, however it was "presented" as being starved, which naturally offended many people. Indeed, if it was originally a stray/homeless dog, it would have been in poor condition to begin with, so even if they fed it regularly at the studio during off hours it would still appear quite sickly.

I think the irony here is that IF indeed the dog is alive and well and was only presented as starving to death, then the artist achieved his original aim-- to point out that the public is outraged at a dog starving in an artists studio, but doesn't care about real dogs starving in the street. If the artist instead starved himself to draw attention to world hunger, he would not have gotten the same reaction-- people would have called it a publicity stunt and dismissed it with no thought. As per the artists own (apparent) statement, he is opposed to animal cruelty too, and is trying to draw attention to it.

I don't doubt the propensity for humans to be cruel, and this story may very well be true, however it is also just as likely that the artist realized that this would be a great way to push-the-buttons of people known to be very vocal (animal rights activists), thus he can use them to his own advantage.

In the internet age I have become very cautious of unbelievable stories. Sometimes they are true, sometimes they are complete fabrications, other times they are based on fact but misinterpreted or exaggerated. It appears the jury is still out on this one.

zombot

petition signed. i actually heard about this through a scooter forum today.
---i am tired of people pushing the boundaries of humanity and calling it art.
it is beyond conceptual or performance art.
it is from lack of any creative craftsmanship ability, and desire to be seen and talked about that brings 'artists' to do this kind of thing.
unfortunately, he has accomplished that goal.
in the end this guy will probably say that public outcry was his goal all along.
what a talentless hack.
also- how is this original or different than the shock artist that had a goldfish in a blender and gave the viewers the choice to kill or save the fish?
or the artist that wanted to smash a rat with a brick on a canvas?

the fact that these souless, talentless shits get grants and gallery space while skilled artisans go unrecognized sometimes makes me think that earth is actually hell.

zombot

i did consider this as a hoax, but what harm can come from being against a hoax when such 'art' shows have been done for real in the past.

if a hoax, then the possibly the point is for the mass responses to become the 'art' presentation itself. an experiment in global outcry to animal abuse. the comments in the petition will become the art itself.

and in that case, it is still not original. these stunts, real or imagined, are just an extention of attention-whoring shock value, with now real craft or skill involved other than the knowledge of how to post on the internet, and what constitutes something cruel enough to elicit reaction.

i did leave my email address- something now that seems suspect to me- but have so far gotten no more spam than normal.
i think i will change all my passwords though.

Dale Hazelton

You always make me think of Red Skelton's signoff --"Good Night, and may God Bless..."

RobIndustry

[taken from Wikipedia]
Tom Otterness is best known to New Yorkers for his "Life Underground" series of sculptures, which are primarily located in the 14th Street–Eighth Avenue New York City Subway station.

Journalist Gary Indiana has criticized Otterness for an independent work done while part of the East Village art scene in the mid-eighties called "Shot Dog Piece", in which Otterness "adopted a dog and then shot it to death for the fun of recording his infantile, sadistic depravity on film."

Otterness commented that "In 1977, I was a young artist having a very rough time. I had anger at myself and at the world. What I did was symbolic of how I was feeling internally and it is something I would never do today.

Patrick

apparently its a hoax:

http://harmonicminor.com/2008/04/07/the-guillermo-habacuc-vargas-hoax/

why believe this? well why believe the story in the first place? why believe anything on the internet?

David

This is still why we should stick to chips and beer.

the guy

Hi, the guy again, as in the guy who would "prefer not to" screw up present and former employment and would "prefer not to" get into the practice of using "sock puppets"
So even if the artist didn't actually hurt the dog, what was his intent. Was it to make a mockery of discussions like the one above either on line or on the phone or around the water cooler or in a corner booth at Rax? People aren't foolish for being upset by an animal being abused, people aren't foolish to discuss what they think are the boundaries of art. The real fool is the artist. What is he leaving behind, besides a full septic tank?

Bronwyn C.

Listener Patrick,I don't think we can conclude this is a hoax based on the blogger at harmonic minor since he misstates several key facts in drawing his conclusion. For one thing, Scopes has NOT debunked this story, and also the blogger does not take into account the very suspicious way in which the artist's and gallery's explanations of what happened to the dog changed over time. As you say, Why believe anything on the Internet--so why believe harmonic minor?
For me, and I think for many others, it's not only that the dog suffered but that some douche presented the suffering as ART that's so outrageous.

Elias

Enraged and furious for 5 minutes, sign an online petition and then forget about it while never ever taking one small can of food to the dogs/cats outside our door. Slacktivism is even sadder than all those hoaxes.

Broinwyn C.

Listener Elias, it's like Listener Janey Yonkers said--why does signing a petition preclude taking any other action to help abused animals? How do you know the signers aren't doing anything else?

C. Stevens

I'd read about this somewhere and felt enraged, but had nothing to do with that rage. Thanks for providing the link. I work for an animal welfare organization and while it would be great if everyone adopted from shelters and volunteered to help, spreading awareness is still a good thing.

Patrick

a short list of artist that killed animals as part of their art...

Damian Hurst (pickled shark, sheep, cow, ect...)
Robert Rauschenberg (The taxidermed animals in his combine painting)
Joseph Beuys (explaining modern art to a dead rabbit)

as of right now, i am undecided as the legitimacy of this story. lets wait and see what kinda play it gets in ArtForum next month, if any... and i find it hard to believe that people walking into a gallery and witnessing a dog dying would not be compelled to do something? (remember when Tom Sachs gave out free bullits at Mary Boone, people where so outraged about it that the police arrested her! how about the Tilted Arc? or Chris Offili, remember when someone was compelled to smear black paint on his work at the BMA?) Further more, do you really believe that a county would pick a work of art like this to represent itself in a invitational exhibition?

the other day up here in Maine, an artist at UMF displayed American flags and her reinterruptions of american flags on the floor of the schools student center and needless to say people when ape shit!! http://morningsentinel.mainetoday.com/news/local/4972128.html us liberal minded progressive types would all fall over each other to defend this artists right to display such art... we applaud Damian Hurst, his work sells for 10's of millions, Bueys is arguably the most important artist the the last 50 years. Rauschenberg a living master, the richest living artist. did the animals they use suffer any less then the dog that allegedly died?

i believe that the goal of this artist was to create conversation, well it seems like he succeeded...

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