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Is a dead dog considered art?

Is a dead dog considered art?

To Costa Rican “artist” Guillermo “Habacuc” Vargas it is. He found a dog on the street, tied him up, and gave explicit instructions for the dog to not be fed. Obviously, the dog died.

Habacuc’s exhibition included a legend spelled out in dog food reading “You are what you read,” photos and an incense burner that burned an ounce of marijauna and 175 “rock’ of crack cocaine. In the background, according to reports, the Sandista national anthem played backwards.

According to the artist, his “art” was a tribute to Natividad Canda, a Nicaraguan burglar killed in Costa Rica by two rottweilers guarding property he had entered at night. The incident caused friction between the two countries. Habacuc told the daily La Nacion, “I won’t say the dog died. The importance to me is the hypocracy of the people where an animal is the focus of attention where people come to see art but not when it’s in the street starving to death.”

“The same thing happened with poor Natividad Canda. The people sympathized with him only after he was dead,” the artist added.

Typical liberal — crying huge crocodile tears over a burglar killed by guard dogs.

Animal abuse? No, of course not! This is art, see? We’re just a bunch of idiots who aren’t on his artistic plane. We just don’t understand, and we’re not expected to. We’re supposed to be offended, while Vargas gets embraced in modern art circles. He’s been chosen to represent Costa Rica in the “Bienal Centroamericana Honduras 2008″.

Once upon a time, wasn’t art supposed to be beautiful, inspirational, and yes, sometimes provocative? I don’t think much in modern art fits those descriptions. Disgusting, offensive crap is a much better description.

Hat Tip: Moonbattery

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  • Undecided says:

    If this is art than why don’t we ban it.

  • Toa says:

    I don’t know who this “artist” is, but he deserves a very hard, thorough beating, in my opinion. No excuse for this kind of stuff.

  • Hans-Jörn says:

    I understand that this is in fact animal cruelty, but to a certain degree, he’s got a point. I’m not sure if he tries to point out that there is dogs dying on the streets, and I’m sure he does not. I’m pretty sure he’s trying to point out, that there’s many many street kids dying in the streets and no one is doing anything.

    My dad has seen that street kids actually get killed during the night and transported away in certain countries in South America (because there’s so many). That is sick, if you ask me.

    If you guys don’t understand what he is trying to point out, then that’s really sad. I don’t think it’s art, more that it is a call to action disguised as art.

  • james says:

    the art of this is in how people react to it, and the fact people have been so outspoken about it renders it as a successful piece. i’m not saying it is good art, in fact i think it is pretty awful, but to question whether or not it is art shows a complete miss-understanding of almost all art since the early 1900s.

    shock art is something i feel is heavily overdone, and apart from a small number of pieces is quite uninspiring. this piece works on the premise that morally most people agree starving a dog is wrong, it lacks the wit of something like duchamps urinal, and the aesthetic qualities that make the works of artists like damien hirst so exhibitable.

  • jana says:

    starving artist???? I say we tie him up and watch him die!

  • Krystal says:

    I am researching shock art and stumbled across your “highly credible” and “thought provoking” reviews. I choose to put these terms in quotation marks as you have so eloquently done with the terms “art” and “artist”…cop that Vargas! So perhaps, just maybe, before we start suggesting we shall tie up and thoroughly beat members of our society we should do a little reading first. I mean, I just think it’s fair before we grab a linch mob let’s just try to have some understanding of the facts. Fact #1. The dog did not die. The gallery strictly forbade such an outcome despite the way it may have looked. Each night the dog was removed and given water to drink to sustain it without effecting the overall message behind the piece.And had it died then sad to say there was no shift in the natural order of things because had Vargas not taken the dog from the street it would have died by the roadside. But it didn’t, it was adopted and nurtured back to health after the exhibit, a little known fact because funnily enough,Vargas didn’t broadcast this because perhaps that might just taint the whole point of the show. Fact #2. The point of the artwork had absolutely nothing to do with a rottweiler or a burglar, perhaps read maybe, oh I don’t know, ONE of the interviews that Vargas gave and you may be enlightened. It was to highlight the hypocracy and ignorance of people living in the area, he was a desperate animal lover who was distraught at seeing dogs wasting away on the streets and people literally stepping over corpses and pretending they weren’t visible. So he figures, would the situation be different if not only the starvation was on display but also people’s reactions to it. There is no ability to ignore the deaths as people are watching you watching…so all of a sudden there is an outcry. Surprise surprise. People care because they are on show but they probably walked past ten starving dogs on the way to the gallery. So no dead dog, no burglars, a very poignant comment on the hypocracy and ignorance of a big chunk of our society. Maybe there were other ways of highlighting it but at least he got people’s attention. So yep, before we start saying we’ll kill people, how bout we just educate ourselves a little bit and dig a little deeper and then we can all avoid sounding like ignorant, uneducated, redneck, uncultured porch monkeys. I’m just saying…

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