Sign the Petition! "Artist" starves dogs as an exhibit

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  1. Whitney05 profile image85
    Whitney05posted 15 years ago

    In 2007, the 'artist' Guillermo Vargas "Habacuc", took a dog from the street, tied him to a rope in an art gallery, and starved him to death

    For several days, the 'artist' and the visitors of the exhibition watched emotionless the shameful 'masterpiece' based on the dog's agony, until eventually he died

    This is not all... the prestigious Visual Arts Biennial of the Central American decided that the 'installation' was actually art, so that Guillermo Vargas Habacuc has been invited to repeat his cruel action for the biennial of 2008

    PLEASE HELP STOP HIM. It takes a second to help put a stop to animal abuse.

    1. SunSeven profile image61
      SunSevenposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Its a hoax. I would rather worry about hunger deaths(of humans) all over the world. In fact, I am coming out with a hub with a more real thing on this subject,

  2. gamergirl profile image86
    gamergirlposted 15 years ago
  3. Whitney05 profile image85
    Whitney05posted 15 years ago

    I thought it was a hoax, but one site actually talks to the guy. He said that

    "In his defence, the artist has claimed that what he was attempting to prove was that those who saw the suffering of the dog just walked on by and that if it had been left on the street to die, no-one would have even known of its existence. "

    And supposidly the dog escaped.

  4. profile image0
    Abhinayaposted 15 years ago

    Hoax or not,it is inhumane to even think of such a thing.I hope this cruelty is stopped before it gets repeated.This 'artist' can't do it. NO!

  5. gamergirl profile image86
    gamergirlposted 15 years ago

    The dog was't starved, folks.

    The artist was trying to make a point that these kinds of things happen, not only in the animal world but in human society.

    People starve to death, physically, emotionally and financially, and the rest of the world just passes them by.

    It's not a matter of animal cruelty.  That dog they used was a stray they picked up off the street.  If anything, that exhibit treated the dog better than it got out in the alleys of a metropolitan area - it had warmth, shelter, food and drink for the duration of the exhibit.  Look beyond the rage of seeing this poor dog in the state it was in, and to the bigger picture of the meanings there.

    1. Whitney05 profile image85
      Whitney05posted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Several sites said no food, but they let him rumage for scraps in the trash at night. But, never any dog food.

      They could have saved the dog, versus put him up for show. It's still animal cruelty that could have been prevented.

      1. profile image0
        Abhinayaposted 15 years agoin reply to this

        I do agree with Whitney.If only the poor thing could talk like humans.

  6. gamergirl profile image86
    gamergirlposted 15 years ago

    The point that is being missed, or ignored, is that this artist did something outrageous (being that he caused an outrage) and because of it, you bet your bottom dollar there are more people inspired to do something to HELP animals since the release of these stories.

    Never mind that the exhibit was BRILLIANT.  Let's just focus on this one poor animal who was rescued off the street and given shelter for a bit.  Let's not pay mind to the hundreds of people who went to the show and didn't react at all to the poor dog, didn't try and interfere with the problem even when it stared them in the face.


    1. Whitney05 profile image85
      Whitney05posted 15 years agoin reply to this

      So is it okay to let a living breathing creature suffer to make a point that could be made in a better, less harmful way? I did not miss the point of the "exhibition." I found the point a great one to make, but he could have found better ways to show that point other than putting an innocent dog on show for being malnourished and unhealthy and sitting by not helping him.

      The dog was not rescued off the street because he was still not taken care of properly when he was removed from the streets.

      The dog could have been saved because he still had the will to live, being that he was standing in the one picture. Dogs that can sit, stand, and move, can be saved from even the worst conditions because those dogs still have the will to live.

      Tiffany, that story is ridiculous. Personally, I think that it is on a different level becuase she did this to herself willingly, at least that's what it seemed.

      And, yes Charlotte, Tiffany is right, he and everyone who saw the "exhibit" is sick. Because they did not stop it.

      The petition is so that he doesn't repeat the act. I personally, do not know what else I could do, especially since the "show" was out of the country. At least that's what I could tell, unless I missed something, which is possible. PETA could probably do something, but what could some random person do besides publicized this ridiculous form of "art."

  7. compu-smart profile image89
    compu-smartposted 15 years ago

    Any crualty to any living thing is something that makes me sick to the bone!!!

    I have just signed the petition and kudos as always to you Whitney!

  8. profile image0
    TiffanyDowposted 15 years ago

    What is it with people doing things that are sick and calling it art?

    I just read this too:

  9. gamergirl profile image86
    gamergirlposted 15 years ago

    Wait a minute..

    so a guy takes a dog and ties it up in an art show to prove a point (and no, for the record, I do not condone the starving and neglect of animals, humans, or anything in between) and he's "sick?"

    Nah, I don't think so.

    I think he proved a valid point. 

    People are so ready to be violently angry about his exhibit, yet do nothing more than sign an online petition and move on.

    It's sad.

    1. profile image0
      TiffanyDowposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Yeah, he is - as are the people who walked right by and saw a dog tied up to starve.

  10. gamergirl profile image86
    gamergirlposted 15 years ago

    Whitney -

    Every single statement I've read by the director of the art center or whatever it is where this show was held says that the dog was fed and had water, and that the dog was released to go about it's merry way just as it had been before.

    The art venue helped the dog.  The people who flooded the venue but yet did not protest the poor, sickly innocent animal tied up in a corner are FAR more to blame than this fellow ever will be.

    The people who just looked and moved on are the monsters.  The people who get riled up about it via the internet and yet don't do anything more than that are monsters too.

    The artist may have chosen a crude method, but he didn't foster the dog into it's sickly state.  It was received in that state.

  11. Bob Ewing profile image64
    Bob Ewingposted 15 years ago

    So in the name of art, a stray dog was taken from the streets, fed, housed and given water, to make a point and then set free to wander the streets and be hungry, cold and without water.

  12. Whitney05 profile image85
    Whitney05posted 15 years ago

    I agree that he did not cause the dog to be in that condition, but they by no means truly helped the dog. They did not nurse him back to health. They did not put any weight on the dog. Many reports say he was only there for 1 day; how much help did they give him for 1 day? Shelter for a day and a bunch of people looking and staring at him?

    You certainly can't say that he rescued the dog from the streets.

    I have not found any real evidence that the dog was fed. It surely doesn't look like he was fed. I've seen dogs starved and emaciated gain 10-15 pounds in a few days to 1 week after being fed properly.

    I've found several reports saying that after 1 day the dog escaped, and given that one day, how could they have ensured that the dog was fed, if he was not provided food during the "exhibition." There are also no reports that 100% guarantee that the dog died or lived, so says several websites.

    Charlotte, you may think it was brilliant to do what he did, but I find it callous and udderly cruel to put an innocent animal on show for being malnourished and unhealthy.

  13. Sally's Trove profile image76
    Sally's Troveposted 15 years ago

    The artist is getting exactly what he wanted:  huge publicity.  And conversations like this one are fueling his fire. The fact is that he neither admits nor denies that he starved the dog to death.

    For a well-researched view of this event which clearly reaches across the blackest border of the avant-garde, see, the article "Cruelty in the Name of Art?".

  14. gamergirl profile image86
    gamergirlposted 15 years ago

    Thank you for that link, Sally's Trove. smile

  15. Sally's Trove profile image76
    Sally's Troveposted 15 years ago

    gamergirl, you are welcome. 

    This artist's "art" reminds me very much of the "happenings" of the sixties and the punk movement later.  All designed to move the complacent to action through that which is socially unacceptable. Artists at this boundary always attract the scorn of the norm.

    To your point, do they leave the world a better place precisely because of the reactions they cause in others, which in turn effect social change?

    If fewer helpless people are mauled by dogs in Costa Rica, and if fewer dogs around the world starve to death because of this artist's "work", then there's a case for saying he awakened minds and thus prompted social action.

    Now there's a new can of worms for this the ends justify the means?

    1. Misha profile image64
      Mishaposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you Sally, I was searching for this phrase in English for quite some time smile Now I can start using it.

      And no, they don't. All my life experience tells me they don't smile

  16. gamergirl profile image86
    gamergirlposted 15 years ago

    I think if this fellow had taken a perfectly healthy dog and over the course of weeks starved it himself and treated it poorly to get it to the state it was in when the exhibit came, then I'd have been pissed off, I'd have picketed and petitioned and salivated for this guy's lifetime demise.

    As it is, he gave a stray meaning, attention and focus, and turned a whole butt ton of people's heads toward the issue of animal starvation.

    At least, that will be what people tend to after people get done trying to crucify the artist.

    1. darkside profile image68
      darksideposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Now that would be art!

      Though I'm pretty sure its been done before.

  17. Misha profile image64
    Mishaposted 15 years ago

    Oops, sorry Charlotte, I was not talking about this case, I was talking in general. I think I just don't have enough info to conclude what happened here. And it is not something what I would be willing to spend significant time researching smile

  18. Sally's Trove profile image76
    Sally's Troveposted 15 years ago

    Misha, I think that most would say that ends don't necessarily justify means. But some say otherwise.

    At the root of this dichotomy is human greed.  Where is the balance between "If it's good for me, then it's justified" and "It's never justified if it's only good for me"?

    Again, the can of worms.

    Charlotte, I do have to wonder about a man who used this deprived animal to foster his own fame. I do think a line was crossed.

  19. Zsuzsy Bee profile image86
    Zsuzsy Beeposted 15 years ago

    This whole affair makes me ill. I believe it's important to get the issue about hunger worldwide out into the open again but to use a defenseless animal to gain popularity is going too far.
    Now if the artist were to start up a trust fund with the money he's making to go to the homeless then it might be forgivable. (My two cents worth.) zs

  20. Sally's Trove profile image76
    Sally's Troveposted 15 years ago

    ZB, I agree with you completely.  This artist should set up a trust fund for the homeless as well as for the rescue of animals. And if he doesn't have the funds to do that on his own, then he should use his media and PR skills to make it happen.

  21. Bob Ewing profile image64
    Bob Ewingposted 15 years ago

    Now if this artist had taped the people viewing the dog and played it back as part of the exhibit maybe he would have done something other than take advantage of the dog.

    "after people get done trying to crucify the artist." not worth the effort and critiquing a show is not crucifying the artist simply assessing the affect of the work and exploring the artist's intent.

  22. Whitney05 profile image85
    Whitney05posted 15 years ago

    This was said by a girl on the reptile forum that I pulled the info from:

    "art has been defined in many ways. but what i always was taught from all my art professors and teachers and instructors over the years is that art is man made.  that is anything designed, created, or produced by man can be considered art. a building is art, a tree is not. a movie is art, the mountains in it are not. an installation of arranged prekilled and taxidermied animals could be art, not a live dog. therefor, this is a false claim of art. an expression, perhaps, but not art. and does not belong in an art gallery."

    I tend to agree with her. This by no means is art, but punishment for the poor dog. I agree with Bob, that he could have taped the dog, and used the tape in the exhibit, instead, and it would have been better. Taped the dog in the sense of maybe running around outside, homeless, just trying to survive. Wouldn't that have done the job without using the dog?

    He by no means is an artist, and this by no means is art.

  23. gamergirl profile image86
    gamergirlposted 15 years ago

    I had a few things I wanted to say, but I don't see a point now.  I think focusing your rage and hate on this fellow is just silly, when that energy could have been spent positively through helping in your community. 

    I have different views on this, but I'm not going to debate the meaning of art, expression or anything since it's just going to be passed over as if I'm some kind of animal abuser advocate or something, so yeah.  No more on this from me.  I refuse to be uselessly angry about this fellow's artistic methods when I can be doing something actively in my community to help.

    1. Whitney05 profile image85
      Whitney05posted 15 years agoin reply to this

      I'm not focusing any rage or hate on this man. I just don't see the point in it, and I wouldn't call this art. I, personally, don't hate anyone. I never have. I have dislikes, but I wouldn't say I hate anyone. I may disagree with what he has done, but I don't know the man, so how can I hate him?

      I think what he has done is wrong, yes. But that's it. No hate involved.

      Do I think he should be allowed to do it again. No, but again no hate or rage involved.

      I've never had a problem with you before, but I do have issues when people tell me how I am feeling and hate and rage are both feelings to which I am not feeling at the moment. And, not for this man, either. I hope this doesn't sound rude, but I don't appreciate being told how I'm feeling, and I feel that is what you've done.

  24. gamergirl profile image86
    gamergirlposted 15 years ago

    Whitney, you should know enough about me by now that if I am specifically talking about you, you get your name in front of my comment, like this one.  The "you" is a universal general you - and yes, I do perceive a certain amount of anger toward this fellow's actions from you - I'm sorry I used the wrong synonym.

    If you want to talk about it more, my email is available, feel free to send me a message, but I won't participate in this thread any longer.  I have no desire to seem as if I am trolling merely by presenting the other side of the coin.


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