Dying Dog As Art?

So do you think this Guillermo Habacuc Vargas is an artist? Although I do not agree with what he did to that dog, I do see it as some form of art, just maybe a form of art that we shouldnt do. But how far can we go for art? maybe we should capture humans and watch them suffer for our entertainment…what, we’re already doing that? oh…

Here is a clip from a Japanese TV show. They are seeing how a cat reacts when they apply tape to the cat on different parts of its body. Funny? Cute? Cruel? or all of the above?


16 Responses to “Dying Dog As Art?”

  1. loveandletlove Says:

    I think that cat thing is horrible.

    As for Guillermo Vargas’ “piece,” I still don’t know what he’s trying to do with it. I’ve heard a lot about him and about this act, but I haven’t ever heard someone talk about what his point was. Does anyone know? Not that it validates it, but it would at least give it some context.

    What’s interesting to me is that shot of people just standing around the dying dog, which I think speaks to the power of the gallery space and how people just become unwilling to question anything when they’re in a gallery. Okay, it may be art. But doesn’t seeing a dying dog disturb you on some human level? People become so narrow minded in galleries. I find it disturbing.

    There are a lot of things that go excused as art, especially a lot of the contemporary stuff. I think there tends to be a fine line between genius/clever and really bad/lazy.

  2. I think that these two videos are too contradicting… Maybe you should of put the post of a dying dog by itself because after watching that you get a huge sense of sadness… after watching the one with the cat I was in a much better mood.
    It’s truly sad that they would do that to a poor animal to prove “What I’m guessing” is a statement about human life in some way. On the other hand I see nothing wrong with the clip with the cat. When I read the description about the video, I was expecting to see the cat get his hair ripped off (which I who hate cats wouldn’t even find funny) but when I saw the video I thought it was sort of cute. I find nothing about the last video cruel… I personaly think that if they’re doing worse things to their people than their animals then it’s not that bad:

  3. japaneseperson Says:

    the japanese people always have crazy shit on t.v. this doesnt seem that cruel. if i had a cat i would probably put tape on it to see if this is for real.

  4. ketsukusa Says:

    very cruel. especially the one with the Dog. Hurting a animal for Art is absolutely unnecessary.

  5. Guillermo Habacuc Vargas’s reasoning for doing the exhibit:
    “The purpose of the work was not to cause any type of infliction on the poor, innocent creature, but rather to illustrate a point. In my home city of San Jose, Costa Rica, tens of thousands of stray dogs starve and die of illness each year in the streets and no one pays them a second thought.”

    Still, it is a very cruel thing to do and the fact that many people visited this exhibit and did nothing about it is even worse. Despite thousands of dogs dying in the street, it’s still very cruel to take an arbitrary one and condemn it to a slow death tied to some wall in a foreign/scary place. Art is truly weird though, maybe I don’t understand it. Also featured in his exhibit according to wikipedia : “the burning of 175 pieces of crack cocaine and an ounce of marijuana while the Sandinista anthem played backwards.” How strange.

    The cat thing isn’t as cruel I guess. But imagine doing that to unknowing humans for millions of other viewers to watch and laugh at. But at least they’re not really hurt or anything.

  6. I don’t think that abusing and killing a real dog is considered as art. I was disgusted by the action of Guillermo Habacuc Vargas.

    The Japanese TV show abused the cat as well. I was offended by the people who were laughing at the cat.

  7. loveandletlove Says:

    I recall reading that Vargas reasoned that the dog would have died anyway on the streets. That may be so, but isolating it in a gallery certainly condemns it to death and puts the blood on his hands.

    I think it’s pretty backwards that he essentially killed this dog to raise awareness. As if there were no other means of doing it. I’ve never been much for shock tactics in art and being sensational just for the sake of spectacle, but this really crosses a line to me. In or out of the gallery, this is cruel and inhumane. Marketing it as art was a conscious decision, and one that I find morally despicable. Vargas is not the only one who should be ashamed, though; the galleries, the critics, and all the patrons who support and legitimize this act are responsible for this animal’s suffering and for the profit Vargas makes on his false political aims.

  8. I suppose this all comes down to what the reason for this to be done. If it comes down in order to show an example of animal cruelty then I don’t know what to say. If one life can save 20 it’s hard to come up with a conclusion.

  9. Art still is a mystery to me. Anyone could take a dog and tie it to a wall. But since he’s some prominent guy tying the dog to an exclusive gallery wall, it’s known as art and people believe it’s okay to do this to the dog if it’s giving off a message. I mean, he couldn’t have created a sculpture of a dying trapped dog, molding the expression to convey such misery that viewers will send their hearts out to the real life versions? I think that’s what art should be about, being able to craft material into something profoundly realistic that’ll spark real emotion.

  10. I wonder if he would of had the same effect if he brought in a dog that was already dead. I’m sure that the dying dog makes a different statement, but do you think that people would make this big of a fuss if the dog was already dead?
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m against the idea of ether… it’s just something i was thinking about.

  11. loveandletlove Says:

    Exactly, penlead – the only reason (and it’s an idiotic one) that no one made a fuss over this was because it was in a gallery, and everyone knows a gallery is sacred space. If some guy had stood on the street with a dog tied to the wall and tried to convince people it was to make apparent the way that animals are dying everyday, people will be furious. Instead, these art snobs dance around this animal in their high heels thinking it’s some major cultural statement.

    Like penlead said, too – THERE ARE OTHER WAYS. Vargas’ desire to make social commentary is legit and maybe even well-intentioned, but the means by which he chose to accomplish it are repulsive. That’s not creative, that’s just cruel, plain and simple.

  12. I guess they wouldn’t really make too much a fuss about ethics if the dog was already dead. Like, if he went down some street and picked up a dead dog (not killed it himself). However, the museum coordinator or whatever probably wouldn’t allow a dirty dog that was lying on the street with maggots and flies all over it. But then they could take a different approach and say it’s unethical to display the body of something that was once living. But it’s not really a strong argument.

  13. loveandletlove Says:

    They could put the dead dog in an acrylic box and watch it rot instead of watching it die.

  14. -penlead
    That is one of the most disgusting things I’ve heard in a long time.

  15. japaneseperson Says:

    i can see what hes trying to do as an artist but as a person this is unacceptable. why not put himself in the gallery and stave himself till he dies?

  16. loveandletlove Says:

    takao – Yes, decay is gross, but isn’t starving a dog to death far, far, FAR more disgusting? I’m not suggesting anyone put a dead dog in a box, just that it’s not hard to think of other sensational ways of visiting the subject, if one were so inclined. At least my way is humane, unless you’re concerned about the dog’s dignity, which Vargas clearly was not.

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