Phil sent me this:
“The director of a Danish art gallery is in court after two fish were killed in an electric food blender. The fish were on display swimming in a Moulinex blender as part of an exhibition by controversial artist Marco Evaristtis. The fish died when a member of the public flicked the switch to turn the blender on, reports Danish daily Berlingske Tidende. Evaristti said at the time that he wanted to force people to “do battle with their conscience” when they were confronted with the switch. Peter Mayer, director of the Evegobalck art museum in Kolding, was prosecuted for allowing the blender to be connected to a live electricity supply. He was charged following complaints from the Friends of Animals group about the incident which happened in 2000. Police earlier ordered Meyer to pay a £300 fine for failing to cut off the electricity supply. But the director refused to pay the fine in the name of artistic freedom, leaving police no option but to take him to court. Mayer told the court that he did not want to turn the power off as he did not want to interfere with the artist’s work.”
Interesting article. I don’t consider that type of thing “art,” but I do understand their point about forcing people to confront their own consciences. The trouble with that is, it sets a precedent – you could have someone stepping on kittens as live performance art, etc. You have to draw a line somewhere, and when any living creature is hurt or killed, you’ve crossed the line.
It would have been more effective to have a virtual fish in a blender, or a kitten, or whatever, and let people push the switch. Then inform them that that had happened in real life, off-screen, and leave them to confront the consequences of their actions – how did it differ if real kittens were killed? Does it make a difference to the state of their conscience – are they just as responsible/guilty if they’re not sure if it’s real or not? Kind of a Shrodinger’s Cat type of twist to the exhibit.
Well, that’s my thought for the day.