For those of you not on my e-mail list, you may not realize that The San Francisco Art Institute sponsored a very ugly exhibit recently.
I hope PETA will jump into action soon, as I have not seen it mentioned in their online newsletter...
The exhibit consisted of the videotaped interactions of animals with a human--the artist who lured them over, in an effort to create this "art" exhibit entitled "Don't Trust Me", whereupon he then smashed the animals--one by one--in the head with a hammer, executing them in a bloody, unconscionable fashion.I did not publicize it in my blog, for fear it might (ironically) give good publicity to a very bad, sad thing. However, I feel safer discussing it now, as the curator has suspended the show. They plan to have a discussion about it this weekend, though I doubt many people could find this "art" at all enlightening, uplifting, or even disturbing in an investigative, or even metaphorical way. The CRIME of it, combined with the absolute inhumanity on "exhibit", is eloquently expressed by pal, Ellen Lindquist, in the letter she sent the SFAI.Read on:
March 24, 2008
Dear San Francisco Art Institute,
I understand that you are currently showing an exhibit, "Don't Trust Me," that features short videos of animals being hit on the head with hammers. http://www.sfai.edu/page.aspx?page=285&navID=587§ionID=4
I am grieved that your institute has chosen to display this. On the website about the show, I learned that the artist, Abdessemed, like many Algerian immigrants to France, suffered due to biases in French society against his people. Indeed, it is most likely because he was ill-treated as an immigrant that he has chosen to use images depicting violence against animals. However, the abuse that Abdessemed suffered is no excuse for abusing innocent animals. What Abdessemed and the San Francisco Art Institute both need to realize is that cruelty against animals is a crime. By displaying this so-called art, the San Francisco Art Institute is complicit in these crimes.
The description of the show, that it "resist(s) the imposition of narrative constructions or automatic interpretations," seeks to legitimize this video that--like snuff films--appeals only to the viewers' basest instincts. Abdessemed claims that his "belief in revolution, both social and individual, is manifest throughout his work." What kind of "revolution" could he possibly mean? There is nothing vaguely new about slaughtering animals. Surely the San Francisco Art Institute can do better. Take down this horrifying exhibit.
Hey readers, I found out this morning the exhibit has been suspended, but perhaps only temporarily.
I sent this out today, with my sentiments, and echoes of what Ellen said in hers, fully present:
Dear Educators, Artists, Gallery Owners,
Hi. As a fellow artist(a poet and actor), I have the utmost respect for artists in ALL mediums. It is with much sorrow that I write to you to tell you of my utter horror over the exhibit featuring Mr. Abdessemed's "art".
I am certainly NOT an advocate of censorship, but what this artist has done is to commit and further a crime. While I understand he is attempting to be "provocative", it is merely sensational.
Enough is enough.
I know you have "suspended" this exhibition, but please END this exhibition. This does not raise consciousness, or raise the level of humanity we are all(even Mr. Abdessemed) capable of.
Continued successs in future exhibitions, and please, in the interests of the good of all of us, and in preserving other artists' integrity(an "exhibit" like this weakens support for all art, and serves NO purpose, except, as I said, to sensationalize, and cheapen animal, and human life), end this exhibit, permanently.
Thank you for your consideration.
Please let your feelings be heard...follow the link in Ellen's letter, and raise a ruckus. There are too many truly talented artists out there, who deserve a chance to be seen and represented.
Peace & Blessings to You & Yours...