Leave the Starving to the Artists, Not the Art.

August 19, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For his exhibit in the Bienarte 2007 in Costa Rica, “artist” Guillermo Vargas Jimenez kept a captured dog chained under a sign “Eres Lo Que Lees” (“You Are What You Read”) spelled out in kibbles. The dog, which he named Natividad, was a stray. The exhibit was a response to what the artist saw as a desensitized population to the many dead and dying dogs (and sometimes people) that line the Costa Rican streets. Said Jimenez, “An animal becomes the center of attention when I put it in a place where people go to see art, but not when it is in the street dying of hunger.”

The dog’s fate is shrouded in internet backlash and exhibit cover up. In one article Jimenez refuses to disclose whether the dog was ever fed. The same article reports that the dog died during the exhibit (whether it was due to starvation is unclear). In one source the exhibit manager reports that Natividad was fed frequently and “escaped” during the night. Navitidad’s story went viral, causing incensed YouTubists to post videos of the exhibit and animal lovers to start a petition to prevent Jimenez from displaying his art at the Bienarte 2008.

Jimenez called the outraged reaction to his art the very hypocrisy he was trying to exhibit. Was it art? You decide.



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