***I have started a fundraising page so that we can all do something where as the people at the exhibit did nothing to help this poor dog. Please make an online donation today to help strays in Central America. We will not sit back and do nothing in the face of animal cruelty. Let us take our collective anger & outrage and turn it into something positive. Let's renew our faith in humanity and make a difference: http://www.firstgiving.com/centralamericanstrays
More about the charity:http://www.mckee-jaco.com/aboutus.htmdonation
I have an update, but my stance remains the same- boycott the "artist" for using a poor starving dog tied to a wall as art. Disgusting.
Ever since I saw the images of the poor starving dog tied up to wall as an exhibit in a gallery, I have thought of nothing else. The idea of an "artist" letting a dog starve to death as art was completely appalling. More upsetting was the thought that no one did anything to save the dog, not the gallery owners or employees and not the people who viewed the exhibit. We were led to believe that the dog died. The picture of people standing around as this dog lay there in need is simply incomprehensible. Whether or not the dog died is not the question, the fact that there are a starving sick dog in that desperately needed help and instead chained as art. Those people and their inaction are as despicable as the "artist".
Their inaction forced my action.
I had posted last on the terrible images & my utter outrage. I have not been able to stop thinking of this poor dog. There has been a petition to boycott the "artist" from the Biennale Central America 2008 in Honduras. We have all been voicing our outrage and asking all to sign it. When I discovered the petition, it had 6000 signature by the end of the day it went to 7000. By the next morning it went to 12,000. Two days later it is now at 26,000.
Jaime Sancho had been moved to action to start this petition. It has grown and I am thankful. I had emailed Jaime in hopes to get more information about the event. The event took place on August 16th, 2007 at Galeria Codice in Managua, Nicaragua. I promised Jaime that we would do all we can to get some media coverage on this outrage. Jaime had in turned sent a letter to the Honduran ambassador of Spain to boycott this "artist". I just emailed the gallery very politely asking for more information about the event, etc so that I could properly write about it (meanwhile what I wanted to say to them was that they were heartless f*cks that should one day be made to go through what that poor dog went through). Surprisingly, the director emailed me back within a half hour with a press release that she will be releasing to the local news & the national Costa Rican paper.
Here is the letter translated through Babelfish- not a perfect translation, but good enough to read their thinly veiled explanation that conveniently the dog "escaped" the morning after the exhibition:
EXPLANATION OF GALERIA CODICE Managua, 19 of October Gallery Codice from its creation in 1991, has promoted the Central American, but specially the Nicaraguans visual arts, as much in the national level, like in regional and the international. In Codice they have exposed great Central American teachers, as well as consolidated and emergenging artists. The contemporary languages of the universal art also have had space in Codice, reason why periodically it welcomes samples of conceptual art. With that spirit, Thursday 16 of August just last No.1 Exhibition appeared, of the Costa Rican artist, Guillermo Vargas, known artistically as HABACUC. One of the exposed works consisted of presenting/displaying a famélico dog that Habacuc gathered off the street, and during the exhibition he appeared moored with a nylon cord, that was subject as well to another cord that hung of two nails in a corner of the Gallery. Habucuc named the dog "Natividad" in tribute to the Nicaraguan Natividad Canda (24 years) that died devoured by two Rottweiler dogs in a factory of San Jose, Costa Rica, the dawn of Thursday 10 of November of 2005. The dog remained in the premises three days, from the 5pm afternoon of Wednesday 15 of August. He was loose all along in the inner patio, except the 3 hours that the sample lasted, was fed regularly with dog food that the same Habucuc brought. Surprise, to the dawn of Friday 17, the dog escaped happening through the iron iron doors of the main entrance of the building, while the nocturnal watchman who finished feeding cleaned it the outer sidewalk of the same one. The Gallery Codice reserves the right of guarding by the quality of the exposed works, respecting at any moment the creativity of the artist and it has never tried to exert no type of censorship, as long as they do not attempt against the elementary principles of the ethics and much less than they imply the life of a living being, is human or animal. I thought to remain with "Natividad", but he preferred to return to his own habitat. I celebrate the one that so many people in the international level have been annoying by the declarations offered by Habacuc, in which she maintained that its intention was to let die to the starvation dog, which is of its absolute responsibility. When fulfilling informing the truth into the facts, I hope that all those same people have also elevated their voice of repudio when Natividad Canda was devoured by the Rottweiler. Kindly, Juanita Bermúdez Director Gallery Codice Managua, Nicaragua
Bottom line: The "artist"- Guilermo Habacuc Vargas, Galeria Codice & all those people at the exhibition did nothing and let a sick starving animal be tied up to a gallery wall as an exhibit- they deserve no kindness. Even if the dog did not die and so conveniently "escaped" the next day, those people had a chance to help but did not. I would like to believe that one day all those complicit in this horrible exhibit will meet the same justice in their hour of need: chained up and sick- their misery & starvation displayed in the name of art with no help in sight.
I just received more information from the director of the gallery who has informed me that the dog had been fed regularly by the artist and the dog really did escape. I asked what they had intended to do after the exhibit and she said that she intended to take the dog to her farm.
I also asked this: didn’t any viewers protest & try to release the dog during the exhibit if they thought that the dog was really being starved to death?
Her reply: no one protested nor tried to release the dog. Most of the audience were young artists who surely assumed that the dog was not going to starve. Next day, when the dog was already gone, two or three young women artists came to offer to adopt the dog.
Do you believe her or not? Let me know what you think.
I feel some sense of relief from her response, but I still find the "art" inhumane:
Petition to Boycott the"artist" from the Biennale Central America 2008 Honduras
Latest Update on this and continued coverage here...