Tuesday, 11 January 2005

In the Name of Art

I always seem to find something Doug Stanhope said in relation to most topics. His summing up of PETA was basically that they were so ‘tits gone’ with the animal rights thing that they turned him against something he would ordinarily be for. “You’re stuck in traffic for two hours, because these nitwits are out trying to get lobsters the right to vote. Makes me want to just grab a fuzzy bunny and crrrrk…’

However Tommy sent me this link earlier on. PETA are naturally up in arms over The Wetterling Gallery in Sweden displaying ‘artwork’ by a woman named Nathalia Edenmont that features animals that she has ‘humanely’ killed herself. I found myself firing off an e-mail asking the gallery just what they think they’re on. I found myself becoming more incensed after I read their justification for it. Let’s see if they get back to me. I still think it might be some elaborate joke.


I’m led to believe that a current exhibition at your gallery featuring the works of Nathalia Edenmont includes real dead animals. Surely this cannot be the case. No art gallery can support the pointless killing of animals in order that they be represented as ‘art’. Please tell me this is all some hilarious joke and that modern artists are still using the tried and tested phoned-in method of putting a bus ticket in a frame and calling it ‘Untitled.’ As opposed to chasing cats and mice round the local dump armed with a meat cleaver. Because seriously, that’s just wrong.

You say ‘We think that art is of vital importance.’ Don’t be so flippant and indeed stupid. You do a fair job in your newsletter of making it sound like killing animals is some visionary thing to do, thought provoking and beautiful, as I remember it the kid at school who ended up in borstal did something similar. Shame your PR guy wasn’t on hand to give him a suitable spin on the ‘thoughts and questions’ his microwaving a cat provoked.

I love the idea that if her artwork was rubbish it would have been different. But because you deem it ‘beautiful’ it’s okay.

Yours slightly baffled

Tom Brogan

PS Did she use the cat to catch the mice first? Seems like that would have been the sensible thing to do.

It's only now, a few hours later that I realise that this exhibition took place exactly one year ago. So perhaps my rage should have subsided in this time. Shame, cos I was impressed that I got so annoyed about animals being murdered. Though maybe I just hate pointless art students. Perhaps they'll think in Sweden that these things just take time to reach us in Scotland.


Anonymous said...

I can't say I agree with everything PETA do but their heart is in the right place. I also agree that some people can find their in-your-face tactics a turn off. Sadly, though, that sometimes seems to be the only way they can get their message out and get some publicity for their cause. I bet you can remember a lot more PETA campaigns than RSPCA ones...

Anonymous said...

The fact that the gallery still have this on their website is enough for you lodge a complaint now, even though the exhibition was a year ago.

There's a lot of rubbish that is allowed to pass as art. That's fine because what I think is rubbish, someone else might find interesting or thought-provoking. However, if your project involves the *pointless* killing of an animal (even the ones that aren't cute and cuddly) then it ceases to be art.