Massive Links: “This is Why People Hate Contemporary Art” Edition

by Art Fag City on April 18, 2008 · 43 comments Blurb

starving art dog
Guillermo Vargas “Habacuc

  • Gawker reports Yale art major Aliza Shvarts repeatedly inseminated herself, while taking drugs to induce miscarriages. Her graduating exhibition will be made up of the documentation of these forced miscarriages, including video footage, and preserved blood. It, of course, sounded like fairly standard undergraduate work to us, particularly once we read that the goals for this piece ran something the lines of sparked conversation about art and the human body. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether you need to see this work in person to really evaluate it. Originally via: Yale Daily News. UPDATE: Via M.River, “Word on the street is, Gawker got punked.” This solves a number of questions about how she would be inducing the miscarriages.
  • Anyone heard of the Bienal Centroamericana Honduras 2008? Apparently it’s the location where artist Guillermo Vargas “Habacuc” will, for the second time, starve a dog to death in the name of art, though no website for the “Bienal” can be found. In all likelihood this is some kind of web meme/art project that collects signatures in the name of either art or meme experimentation. Unfortunately, I’m not sure what this project will prove, past what we already know; people sign their support for causes almost blindly. Snoops on the veracity of the story.  Edward Winkleman here.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

m.river April 18, 2008 at 1:01 pm

word on the street is that gawker got punked.

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m.river April 18, 2008 at 1:01 pm

word on the street is that gawker got punked.

Reply

m.river April 18, 2008 at 1:01 pm

word on the street is that gawker got punked.

Reply

m.river April 18, 2008 at 8:01 am

word on the street is that gawker got punked.

Reply

Regular reader April 18, 2008 at 2:09 pm

I love it when bleeding-heart, art-loving liberals get their panties in twists when they come across “controversial” artwork. But I’m overly stereotyping and easily strawmanning. Petitioning and outdoor protests, by the way, have become futile means of cultural and political resistance. Give it up.

While I don’t think this particular work by Aliza Shvarts (WAY too naive and art school) is all that interesting or socially relevant, Guillermo Vargas has really hit on a nerve. The starving dog seems way too “humane”–I find it hilarious when that word is applied to animals–compared to the work of Santiago Sierra, probably one of the biggest nerve-hitting artist of our time. Sierra totally dehumanizes participants in his work–a height and poignancy that so many other artists who deal with the dehumanizing effects of contemporary life can never reach.

I suppose that Sierra’s work is too straightforward, too literal. Vargas is more metaphorical, but I’m not sure this removal is more effective.

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Regular reader April 18, 2008 at 9:09 am

I love it when bleeding-heart, art-loving liberals get their panties in twists when they come across “controversial” artwork. But I’m overly stereotyping and easily strawmanning. Petitioning and outdoor protests, by the way, have become futile means of cultural and political resistance. Give it up.

While I don’t think this particular work by Aliza Shvarts (WAY too naive and art school) is all that interesting or socially relevant, Guillermo Vargas has really hit on a nerve. The starving dog seems way too “humane”–I find it hilarious when that word is applied to animals–compared to the work of Santiago Sierra, probably one of the biggest nerve-hitting artist of our time. Sierra totally dehumanizes participants in his work–a height and poignancy that so many other artists who deal with the dehumanizing effects of contemporary life can never reach.

I suppose that Sierra’s work is too straightforward, too literal. Vargas is more metaphorical, but I’m not sure this removal is more effective.

Reply

Art Fag City April 18, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Just to make sure everyone is clear: Both of these cases are more than likely hoaxes.

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Art Fag City April 18, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Just to make sure everyone is clear: Both of these cases are more than likely hoaxes.

Reply

Art Fag City April 18, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Just to make sure everyone is clear: Both of these cases are more than likely hoaxes.

Reply

Art Fag City April 18, 2008 at 9:15 am

Just to make sure everyone is clear: Both of these cases are more than likely hoaxes.

Reply

Regular reader April 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Hoaxes are–or at least can be–conceptual art projects. Our reactions are real in spite of the fact that the works of art may not. This dying dog is very real to us.

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Regular reader April 18, 2008 at 10:03 am

Hoaxes are–or at least can be–conceptual art projects. Our reactions are real in spite of the fact that the works of art may not. This dying dog is very real to us.

Reply

Art Fag City April 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm

I’m not suggesting they’re not, but I do challenge that work. The fact that the dying dog “is very real to us” doesn’t mean anything. I mean, how interesting is the IDEA of starving a dog to death in gallery? Once you decide that’s what will be done, the outcome is inevitable.

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Art Fag City April 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm

I’m not suggesting they’re not, but I do challenge that work. The fact that the dying dog “is very real to us” doesn’t mean anything. I mean, how interesting is the IDEA of starving a dog to death in gallery? Once you decide that’s what will be done, the outcome is inevitable.

Reply

Art Fag City April 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm

I’m not suggesting they’re not, but I do challenge that work. The fact that the dying dog “is very real to us” doesn’t mean anything. I mean, how interesting is the IDEA of starving a dog to death in gallery? Once you decide that’s what will be done, the outcome is inevitable.

Reply

Art Fag City April 18, 2008 at 10:55 am

I’m not suggesting they’re not, but I do challenge that work. The fact that the dying dog “is very real to us” doesn’t mean anything. I mean, how interesting is the IDEA of starving a dog to death in gallery? Once you decide that’s what will be done, the outcome is inevitable.

Reply

Regular reader April 18, 2008 at 5:26 pm

The idea is a metaphor for something else–I can’t give you an interpretation. The idea definitely isn’t about the plight of stray dogs in cities, nor is it about how galleries transform ordinary objects. There’s got to be something more to the artist’s gesture….

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Regular reader April 18, 2008 at 5:26 pm

The idea is a metaphor for something else–I can’t give you an interpretation. The idea definitely isn’t about the plight of stray dogs in cities, nor is it about how galleries transform ordinary objects. There’s got to be something more to the artist’s gesture….

Reply

Regular reader April 18, 2008 at 5:26 pm

The idea is a metaphor for something else–I can’t give you an interpretation. The idea definitely isn’t about the plight of stray dogs in cities, nor is it about how galleries transform ordinary objects. There’s got to be something more to the artist’s gesture….

Reply

Regular reader April 18, 2008 at 5:26 pm

The idea is a metaphor for something else–I can’t give you an interpretation. The idea definitely isn’t about the plight of stray dogs in cities, nor is it about how galleries transform ordinary objects. There’s got to be something more to the artist’s gesture….

Reply

Regular reader April 18, 2008 at 12:26 pm

The idea is a metaphor for something else–I can’t give you an interpretation. The idea definitely isn’t about the plight of stray dogs in cities, nor is it about how galleries transform ordinary objects. There’s got to be something more to the artist’s gesture….

Reply

Jill Conner April 19, 2008 at 2:32 am

Vargas’ work isn’t new: Tom Otterness adopted a dog many years ago and shot it as part of an art piece. None of this, like Damien Hirst’s sliced animals, are anything new but rather a symptom of something gone wrong.

Reply

Jill Conner April 19, 2008 at 2:32 am

Vargas’ work isn’t new: Tom Otterness adopted a dog many years ago and shot it as part of an art piece. None of this, like Damien Hirst’s sliced animals, are anything new but rather a symptom of something gone wrong.

Reply

Jill Conner April 19, 2008 at 2:32 am

Vargas’ work isn’t new: Tom Otterness adopted a dog many years ago and shot it as part of an art piece. None of this, like Damien Hirst’s sliced animals, are anything new but rather a symptom of something gone wrong.

Reply

Jill Conner April 18, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Vargas’ work isn’t new: Tom Otterness adopted a dog many years ago and shot it as part of an art piece. None of this, like Damien Hirst’s sliced animals, are anything new but rather a symptom of something gone wrong.

Reply

Jill Conner April 19, 2008 at 2:41 am

Crimelibrary.com, or a court-room murder simulation seen on the likes of Dateline NBC, is more interesting. After more thought, Vargas’ makes art look like its nothing but ludicrous navel-gazing, unfortunately. Does the art world need to pander itself away to ANYTHING?

Reply

Jill Conner April 19, 2008 at 2:41 am

Crimelibrary.com, or a court-room murder simulation seen on the likes of Dateline NBC, is more interesting. After more thought, Vargas’ makes art look like its nothing but ludicrous navel-gazing, unfortunately. Does the art world need to pander itself away to ANYTHING?

Reply

Jill Conner April 19, 2008 at 2:41 am

Crimelibrary.com, or a court-room murder simulation seen on the likes of Dateline NBC, is more interesting. After more thought, Vargas’ makes art look like its nothing but ludicrous navel-gazing, unfortunately. Does the art world need to pander itself away to ANYTHING?

Reply

Jill Conner April 18, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Crimelibrary.com, or a court-room murder simulation seen on the likes of Dateline NBC, is more interesting. After more thought, Vargas’ makes art look like its nothing but ludicrous navel-gazing, unfortunately. Does the art world need to pander itself away to ANYTHING?

Reply

martin April 19, 2008 at 3:39 am

have you heard of wafaa bila’s “dog or iraqi”? i’ve been surprised it hasn’t gotten any attention with all of that other dog torture stuff making news. maybe because it is lame.

(actually, i’m not certain this is bilal’s project. i think his involvement might be as the iraqi who might get waterboarded)

Reply

martin April 19, 2008 at 3:39 am

have you heard of wafaa bila’s “dog or iraqi”? i’ve been surprised it hasn’t gotten any attention with all of that other dog torture stuff making news. maybe because it is lame.

(actually, i’m not certain this is bilal’s project. i think his involvement might be as the iraqi who might get waterboarded)

Reply

martin April 19, 2008 at 3:39 am

have you heard of wafaa bila’s “dog or iraqi”? i’ve been surprised it hasn’t gotten any attention with all of that other dog torture stuff making news. maybe because it is lame.

(actually, i’m not certain this is bilal’s project. i think his involvement might be as the iraqi who might get waterboarded)

Reply

martin April 19, 2008 at 3:39 am

have you heard of wafaa bila’s “dog or iraqi”? i’ve been surprised it hasn’t gotten any attention with all of that other dog torture stuff making news. maybe because it is lame.

(actually, i’m not certain this is bilal’s project. i think his involvement might be as the iraqi who might get waterboarded)

Reply

martin April 18, 2008 at 10:39 pm

have you heard of wafaa bila’s “dog or iraqi”? i’ve been surprised it hasn’t gotten any attention with all of that other dog torture stuff making news. maybe because it is lame.

(actually, i’m not certain this is bilal’s project. i think his involvement might be as the iraqi who might get waterboarded)

Reply

Cat April 22, 2008 at 7:52 pm

My take on the veracity of the dog piece is this: The first places I heard about it were not the news, an art blog, or anything remotely credible. I first saw it on facebook and myspace, where it circulated for a few weeks in capital letters, died for awhile, and seems to have come back to life. Who takes real news straight to MySpace?

Reply

Cat April 22, 2008 at 7:52 pm

My take on the veracity of the dog piece is this: The first places I heard about it were not the news, an art blog, or anything remotely credible. I first saw it on facebook and myspace, where it circulated for a few weeks in capital letters, died for awhile, and seems to have come back to life. Who takes real news straight to MySpace?

Reply

Cat April 22, 2008 at 7:52 pm

My take on the veracity of the dog piece is this: The first places I heard about it were not the news, an art blog, or anything remotely credible. I first saw it on facebook and myspace, where it circulated for a few weeks in capital letters, died for awhile, and seems to have come back to life. Who takes real news straight to MySpace?

Reply

Cat April 22, 2008 at 2:52 pm

My take on the veracity of the dog piece is this: The first places I heard about it were not the news, an art blog, or anything remotely credible. I first saw it on facebook and myspace, where it circulated for a few weeks in capital letters, died for awhile, and seems to have come back to life. Who takes real news straight to MySpace?

Reply

Brian Sherwin April 23, 2008 at 8:26 am

There was so much confusion over that dog exhibit. I refused to write about until I knew the facts. Concerning Wafaa Bilal’s “Dog or Iraqi”, I’m fairly certain that he knows people will select him going into it. At least that is what I gathered from interviewing him.

Reply

Brian Sherwin April 23, 2008 at 8:26 am

There was so much confusion over that dog exhibit. I refused to write about until I knew the facts. Concerning Wafaa Bilal’s “Dog or Iraqi”, I’m fairly certain that he knows people will select him going into it. At least that is what I gathered from interviewing him.

Reply

Brian Sherwin April 23, 2008 at 8:26 am

There was so much confusion over that dog exhibit. I refused to write about until I knew the facts. Concerning Wafaa Bilal’s “Dog or Iraqi”, I’m fairly certain that he knows people will select him going into it. At least that is what I gathered from interviewing him.

Reply

Brian Sherwin April 23, 2008 at 3:26 am

There was so much confusion over that dog exhibit. I refused to write about until I knew the facts. Concerning Wafaa Bilal’s “Dog or Iraqi”, I’m fairly certain that he knows people will select him going into it. At least that is what I gathered from interviewing him.

Reply

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