This is no victimless art

By Laure Maron

During last Friday’s class, we talked about some artists that pushed the boundaries of art to the extreme, some of them using animals to create ‘pieces of art’.

An artist is someone who wants to communicate something to other people through a medium. Nowadays, the media have almost no limit, it can be everything the artist wants, and for some of them, the body itself can be a medium (even if McLuhan said the contrary, that is: “a media is the extension of the human body, it can be all tools that we use to expand the natural abilities of a human body”).

Using one’s own body as a medium to communicate a message, to share something with other people is something I can understand. Some people don’t even hesitate to mutilate their body (or the body of a volunteer), either because it is part of the “traditional” perception of beauty of the people which they belong to (Giraffe neck women, for example) or in the context of a work of art, in order to make people aware of the limits of the human body.

As long as people are aware of the risks they’re taking and as long as they concede to take part in the work of art, there is no problem. What bothers me is when people start using animals, which, we must admit, did not concede to take part in this kind of practices in any way. According to me, this is pure cruelty and I really don’t get the message these people try to convey by hurting and killing some innocent creatures.

Here are the two most horrible examples I found about this subject:

–          The first one is about a Japanese practice called ‘bonsai kittens’. This is a kind of souvenir made of a kitten stuck in a far too small box or bottle. After a while, the ‘official’ version of this practice appeared to be a joke, but it was so realistic that it actually gave ideas to some people who actually tried to do it.

–          The second one is about another form of art: cooking. In the link I joined, you can see a culinary contest of different meals made of animals that have been cooked or cut in pieces… and that are still alive in your plate.

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