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Strangling Puppies and Guillotining Sheep: Not Art

Strangling Puppies and Guillotining Sheep: Not Art

A German court has banned an artist who planned to strangle two puppies with cable ties on stage† from performing. The artist (who has not been identified) had planned to perform a piece entitled “Death as Metamorphosis” on April 27, in order to (he says) highlight the killing of Alaskan sled dogs and Spanish huntings dogs after they are no longer able to work. He said he would also offer a short “mediation” along with funeral procession music and a gong; he has claimed that his piece was based on traditional Thai art forms.

“Shocking” seems too understated a word to describe the artist’s plans. Certainly there seem other ways that he could make his point, without harming — without killing — more dogs.

The artist had argued that Germany’s constitution “unconditionally guarantees artistic freedom.” But citing animal protection laws that forbid harming them in a show, a Berlin administrative court stopped the artist from his performance.

The Local describes another equally disturbing project that involves killing animals in the name of art. Two students at Berlin’s University of the Arts (UdK), Iman Rezai and Rouven Materne, say they will guillotine a sheep on camera, or will not, based on an online vote. They have received 190,000 “No” votes and 120,000 “Yes” votes in six days.

The point of the project, says Materne, is to foment a discussion about “humanity and democracy.” The guillotine, the creation of the French Revolution, was selected because it “represents a society that wants to give its cruelties the appearance of humanity.” Rezai and Materne have said that they also want to show how the “anonymity of the internet lures the perversity out of some people.”

Despite the outcry over their project, Rezai and Materne will announce the results in mid-May.

While such ideas about the internet and human behavior and morality are well to highlight, the violent means by which Rezai and Materne seek to make their point is not so much a commentary about the ethical issues they highlight, but simply promises more violence.

The answer to cruelty is not more of the same and certainly not on those — sled and hunting dogs who have been retired from their work — who have already suffered enough.

 

Related Care2 Coverage

Performance Art a Graphic Reminder of Animal Cruelty

The Truth Behind Sled Dog Racing

The Iditarodís Trail of Dog Deaths

Mass General Ends Lethal Sheep Lab

 

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286 comments

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8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Every time I read something on Care2 that seems horrific and bizarre and believe that nothing will top this one--well next day there is something else that does.

These actions are hardly artistic in any way.

Several say it is a good idea to kill the "artists" involved which is just as bad as the acts of the perpetrators involved. Or one suggested the death penalty for animal cruelty. Who knows what happens after we die, maybe our soul or whatever goes on to a different place. The penalty should be in the here and now - a long stint in a jail cell where freedom is limited and where one has a lot of time to think about the cruel acts are far more likely to show the people involved that cruelty is not tolerated. If you are dead you cannot be punished.

Oh yes, some say better dead so no future acts of cruelty can take place but doing in the artists may sound like poetic justice to some but does not really help the situation if we are against killing.

Some people are simply warped and think this is the way to protest the cruelty to sled dogs, but that is just a bizarre and ruthless way to protest while guillotining a sheep as a protest is...just as pointless. One wonders often about some people and where their minds are at.

8:51AM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

To Rezai and Materne in announcing your decision in mid May, if you care anything, and have a heart for animals, you won't allow such a sickning act to take place. If you do allow it, you are just as rotten and you both are considered in my mind, a bile of shit. I would never trust you near children for that matter. You both, and anyone who harms and do such horrible acts to animals deserves to have your hands amputated.

8:48AM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

FIRST OF ALL, ANY SICK PERSON SUPPORTING SUCH AN ACT SHOULD BE HUNG. SECOND, THIS BASTARD THINKS THIS GAME IS FUNNY, TO STRANGLE DOGS FOR SHOW, WHAT A F*CKIN BASTARD. WHY DON'T YOU HANG YOURSELF IF YOU'RE READING THIS. DO SOCIETY A FAVOR AND THEIR WILL BE LESS ANIMAL KILLERS LIKE YOU WALKING AROUND US. YOU WANT TO CHOKE SOMEONE, GO PUT ON AN ARMY UNIFORM AND GO TO IRAQ, OR WORST THEN THAT, A COUNTRY THAT IS KILLING AND EATING THEIR OWN PEOPLE AND LET'S SEE JUST HOW STUPID AND BRAVE YOU ARE THEN. I BETTER NOT EVER CATCH YOU TRYING TO CHOKE OR HARM MY DOGS. I WILL GO TO JAIL I PROMISE YOU THAT.

6:14AM PDT on Jun 7, 2012

Extremely concerning. 190,000 “No” votes and 120,000 “Yes” votes to kill the sheep. Humans do not desrve to dominate this planet and in fact the planet would be better off without us!

12:04PM PDT on Jun 6, 2012

would these "artists", want themselves to be grabbed and executed, in the name of art? Are THEY willing to die for their supposed cause or expression? NO?

Then stop killing INNOCENT CREATURES, FOR THEY HAVE NO MALICE, BUT YOU DO!

These are innocent feeling beings, that harmed no one. Go watch Roots, or Amistad, and see how all the ladies liked being the "chosen one" to be gang raped, because the men were feeling "horney" at that particular moment.

Only a "guy"/madman, would think to prey on benevolent innocent DEFENCELESS, creatures. Notice, in Roots, when the "master" was caught by the slaves, tied to a tree about to be savagely whipped, they way HE had ordered "his" "slaves", to be whipped, he cried and pleaded for mercy, when he didn't give his slaves mercy in the same situation.

The slaves did NOT whip him, because they didn't want to be like him. In other words those who resort to violence, are weak and stupid. These stupid "artists" are trying to faulsly boot their fame/egos, by preying on the weak and not using their minds to come up with a way to help animals without hurting them. So killing innocent creatures, is the new designer art? What does that say about humanity? Bloody monsters! poor baby critters. I would go to a show and storm the stage as soon as I saw puppies and grab and run off with them. Can they strangle a baby human? no? So why is it acceptable to strangle a helpless felling puppy?

12:04PM PDT on Jun 6, 2012

would these "artists", want themselves to be grabbed and executed, in the name of art? Are THEY willing to die for their supposed cause or expression? NO?

Then stop killing INNOCENT CREATURES, FOR THEY HAVE NO MALICE, BUT YOU DO!

These are innocent feeling beings, that harmed no one. Go watch Roots, or Amistad, and see how all the ladies liked being the "chosen one" to be gang raped, because the men were feeling "horney" at that particular moment.

Only a "guy"/madman, would think to prey on benevolent innocent DEFENCELESS, creatures. Notice, in Roots, when the "master" was caught by the slaves, tied to a tree about to be savagely whipped, they way HE had ordered "his" "slaves", to be whipped, he cried and pleaded for mercy, when he didn't give his slaves mercy in the same situation.

The slaves did NOT whip him, because they didn't want to be like him. In other words those who resort to violence, are weak and stupid. These stupid "artists" are trying to faulsly boot their fame/egos, by preying on the weak and not using their minds to come up with a way to help animals without hurting them. So killing innocent creatures, is the new designer art? What does that say about humanity? Bloody monsters! poor baby critters. I would go to a show and storm the stage as soon as I saw puppies and grab and run off with them. Can they strangle a baby human? no? So why is it acceptable to strangle a helpless felling puppy?

11:09PM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

Artist ?????? He is sick.

5:40AM PDT on May 31, 2012

If they believe violence is art then why not harm themselves?? Art has nothing to do with harming another living being, by harming one living being you are only creating more violence, not bringing attention to anything that you are trying to bring attention to. Violence upon violence is ludicrous.

6:14PM PDT on May 25, 2012

What kind of sick b*stard would even think of something like this??? If he's truly worried about dogs being killed, there's a helluva lot better ways to get his point across. What an idiot.

2:57PM PDT on May 24, 2012

That evil bastard "artist" instead why it would be nicer to torture him in slow motion, strugle him, make him suffer sooooooo much that he will know how it feels to be treated like that , you mother fucker. I wish you the worst.........

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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