Art?

EDIT: I stand corrected. This indeed was not real. http://thepetextraordinarium.blogspot.com/2008/03/starving-dog-exhibit-reported-as-hoax.html

Got this in the email box today. This is fucking insane. Killing is not art. Sign the petition to block The Bienal Centroamericana Honduras 2008 from supporting this artist:

This is a very serious matter…
 
In 2007, the ‘artist’ Guillermo Vargas Habacuc, took a dog from the street, tied him to a rope in an art gallery, and starved 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.   

Does it look like art to you?
 
But this is not all… 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.
 
PLEASE HELP STOP HIM.
 
http://www.petitiononline.com/ea6gk/petition.html
 
It’s free of charge, there is no need to register, and it will only take 1 minute to save the life of an innocent creature. 
 
Thank you for your time.

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42 thoughts on “Art?

  1. I’m amazed that people are so enraged about this and all gung ho about setting up protests . . . yet no one is giving a shit about the human rights atrocities that it is meant to draw the eye to. If you people care so much about a dog starving . . . how about a human being?

  2. @shadowsofthought – this. curious how many who signed the petition have donated any of their cash to emergency relief in Darfur… maybe dogs are worth saving but human beings in Africa aren’t? Here is a part of his original [most recent] statement:”Hello
    everyone. My name is Guillermo Habacuc Vargas. I am 50 years old and an
    artist. Recently, I have been critisized for my work titled “Eres lo
    que lees”, which features a dog named Nativity. The purpose of the work
    was not to cause any type of infliction on the poor, innocent creature,
    but rather to illustrate a point. In my home city of San Jose, Costa
    Rica, tens of thousands of stray dogs starve and die of illness each
    year in the streets and no one pays them a second thought.Now,
    if you publicly display one of these starving creatures, such as the
    case with Nativity, it creates a backlash that brings out a big of
    hypocrisy in all of us. Nativity was a very sick creature and would
    have died in the streets anyway.”so go ahead and sign your petition, kids. but keep in mind that there’s probably a dog starving to death within a couple blocks of your house that you didn’t do shit to help, and there are human beings starving to death all over the world you won’t even sign a petition for.

  3. @TheCrimsonNinja – 
    @shadowsofthought – 
    so by your logic, we should do nothing?  because if we can’t help all of the millions of people and dogs starving in the world, we shouldn’t even bother to save one? 
    i agree with the artist’s statement, but i don’t agree with his execution.  there has got to be a better way: he could have gone out and filmed all of those dogs out in the street dying of starvation.  oh, but that would require too much effort.  it’s easier to chain an animal up and deprive it of any means of survival – simply for the sake of his artistic statement.  that’s absurd.  if you can’t see that, well, good luck.
    noam chomsky once said that we have a responsibility to exact change in our own “sphere of influence”.  we may not be able to save the world, but we should do all that we can do within our means – for most people, that might just be signing a petition. 
    as an fyi, i did contribute a heck of a lot of money to darfur.  and to katrina.  and to the tsunami in asia.  and rwanda.  and every other travesty that happened upon this god-forsaken planet since i became financially-solvent.  is it enough?  probably not.  but is it everything i can do without compromising my own welfare at this time in my life?  i’d like to hope so.

  4. Mr. Vargas should tie himself to the wall for the sake of performance art and performing a public service. Also, all the viewers should become that interactive art as well. How can anyone watch that and not be spurred into action? Probably the same reason a crowd of people can watch a mugging, rape or beating and not a darned thing about people. We people are cowards. Thanks for letting us know about the petition!

  5. Actually, the dog was fed by the exhibition. It was all set up to just to cause a reaction… and you guys are responding the way the artist wanted. It’s proof that if we set something on display and the focus is in a “civilized” setting, then we would blast out the big guns (and petitions) to do something about, pretending to really care about it because it’s the human side of us. However, if we find a starving animal on the side of the street…. or even a human being, which can be a type of animal, we overlook it, block it out of our mind… just like a robot that doesn’t understand the negative, dirty side of the streets. There are extinct species everyday and less than 0.5% of the world population cares about it.Do not worry. The dog was fed. The dog is actually alive. He did not die. That was just false facts to lead the public astray.You guys have participated in an exhibition that you may or may have not ever seen. Congratulations.Think about it.

  6. This has hoax written all over it. I don’t believe for one second that anyone just let a dog just die like that. This reminds me of that stupid “cat-in-a-bottle” e-mail, also complete with a petition to get people to get mad about an issue that didn’t really exist.

  7. that is so messed up.  that is not art.  art is suppose to be beautiful at least in my opinion.  there are foolish people who think shit can create art and evidentally this person thinks a dogs death will.

  8. @davidian – i never said we should do nothing. i made the point that it’s silly, inconsistent, and sentimental to care more for the plight of a single dog in an art installation more than those dogs in your own neighborhood or HUMAN BEINGS which are suffering in the world. i applaud you for your philanthropic attempts. i certainly don’t advocate doing nothing. i advocate intelligent, rational, and thoughtful contributions of any sort, and if the best that one can do is sign petitions, then great. but there are better petitions to sign than this one.

  9. @ME_ondisplay – thanks. i’m relieved the dog isn’t dead. my fiance is an artist, and when we were discussing it, we didn’t think it was at all necessary for the dog to die to still achieve the artistic impact he desired, and in fact thought it somewhat neutered (no pun intended) his social commentary. so for me, the fact that the dog didn’t die is a relief both on a compassionate level and on an aesthetic one.

  10. regardless of them starving the dog or not, i still feel for it.
    being an animal lover, whenever i see any homeless dog.. i try to take him in or do something about it.  same goes for homeless people.  i don’t feed every single one of them, but i try to go to a shelter or volunteer.  you can’t save the entire world, but you can start by helping one at a time.
    i know that sounds very hippie-like, but its true.  knowing the artists true motives now – it’s actually pretty challenging.

  11. @TheCrimsonNinja – according to the local media coverage as well as the press release put out by the gallery the dog was only chained up for two hours at a time and then fed by dog food that the artist himself had bought with him.  The dog was a stray that they had found and he ended up running away before the show was even over. 

  12. Relax. Focus on the topic at hand. The point of the petition was to voice disagreement with this particular issue. Not to the human lives being lost in other countries around the world, and not to other animals dying for whatever reason. These are independent. Are you guys saying that if one is against the idea of this “art” exhibit, that they are for the deaths in Africa? Of course not, so why bring that up. The petition was a quick, simple, and easy way to voice your disgust with this idea. If there was a 1-click petition on the internet to stop world hunger or any and all of the mass murders/atrocities that may be occurring around the world today, I’m SURE everyone in the know would take the time to sign up. Unfortunately a piece of digital paper signed by 5 million people would not feed one starving person. But another of the same might be good enough to shut down a gruesome art exhibit.Everyone’s always trying to complain about something… That’s James2Cents.

  13. soooo, why didn’t they take the dog to a shelter after the show was over? i don’t get why the director lady said they let it escape back into the streets where they found it, it’s not something to be proud of doing. what stupids. no wonder all these ppl tore the artist apart.

  14. i googled this and found the following:”The purpose of the work was not to cause any type of infliction on the
    poor, innocent creature, but rather to illustrate a  point. In my home
    city of San Jose, Costa Rica, tens of thousands of stray dogs starve
    and die of illness each year in the streets and no one pays them a
    second thought.”
    Vargas refused
    to tell whether the animal had survived the show but the Códice Gallery
    claims “It was untied all the time except for the three hours the
    exhibition lasted and it was fed regularly with dog food Habacuc
    himself brought in.”

  15. I can see the artists side of it, but where do ethics come into this.  I guess some artists don’t have  ethical rosponsibility for health –or at least feel they don’t.  Nothing surprieses me anymore.

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