City Pulse

By Jan Lee

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When I read the title of yesterday’s Gawker.com article “Dog-Starving Artist Just Gets More Unpopular“, the Kafka short came to mind. Maybe it’s a painting, or maybe it’s a stupid animated YouTube video somebody with too much time on their hands came up with for fifteen minutes of Internet fame.

But, when I read that Gawker reported on an actual exhibit by Costa Rican artist Guillermo “Habacuc” Vargas’ latest exhibition that features an actual starving dog, I still didn’t think it was real. But, it was very real indeed.

He actually did this, in addition to displaying “without food and water” under the words “Eres Lo Que Lee”‘ – “You Are What You Read” – made out of dog biscuits while he played the Sandinista anthem backwards and set 175 pieces of crack cocaine alight in a massive incense burner according to Gawker to pay tribute to a Nicaraguan man eaten by two Rottweiler dogs. Please, somebody tell me, and this lunatic of a man, there were many different ways of paying tribute without cruelty to animals. Some reports even say the dog starved to death during the display, although the gallery director denies that report.

We urge you to sign this petition, so that Vargas will not be allowed to show his exhibit at the Bienal Centroamericana Honduras 2008, or hopefully any other exhibitions. If he wants to make that strong of a statement, he should put on some dog ears, glue on some whiskers and starve himself.

Originally published April 2008

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