25 Apr 2008, Comments Off on Friday Dogblogging: Sad

Friday Dogblogging: Sad

Author: Helen

I got another distressing image, or set of images, through the email: a friend sent it to me with a link to a petition to exclude Guillermo “Habacuc” Vargas, a Costa Rican artist, from the 2008 Bienal Centroamericana Honduras.

I won’t show the accompanying images because they are so sad, and it won’t help its subject, a dog called Natividad, who was allegedly trapped in a shanty town by children paid by Vargas to do so, and then tied with a short length of what looks like elecrical cord to a bare room in an art gallery, with nothing between his skeletal body and the bare floor. He was left like that without food and water until he died. Some accounts state that the dog was able to see and smell food.

As always with these things, I went straight to Snopes. Unfortunately, the bare details seem to be true, although the exact nature of the dog’s treatment seem murky enough for them to put a question mark over it. Here’s an article by the WSPA, which seems a fairly respectable source.

Confusion reigns about whether the dog actually died in the gallery as stated or escaped within a day and disappeared, but I’m not really interested in that; the photographs demonstrate how horribly he, or she, was treated.

The “artist” has come up with various explanations justifying this “installation”, some of them less chickenshit than others. To bring home the hypocrisy of the viewer, who would walk straight past the same dog if they saw him in the shanty town. True. I would add also that we see starving humans daily via the media, now that electronics have made us a (cliche alert) global village, and do we instantly take action? No. or seldom. But ultimately, I find these excuses as inadequate as Vargas’ moral compass. Once that little dog is in our hands we have a duty of care, if only to euthanase him. And animal abuse is a psychological pointer to violent crime.

Among Vargas’ ever-changing stories is that the “installation” is a kind of puerile payback for a burglar or thief called Natividad, who apparently was apparently killed by a rottweiler; therefore the dog was named Natividad, and “Remember Natividad” was the name of the “work”. If he really came out with that one, I have no words. Get him to a psychiatrist, and quickly.

It might be a good idea to sign the petition. Have a great Anzac weekend – I’m off the Apollo Bay Music festival.

Comments (0)

  • Caroline says:

    Helen, that is unbelievably horrible. Its hard to imagine any self respecting gallery would allow such a thing to be carried out in their gallery. Perhaps they weren’t (well obviously) terribly self-respecting. I certainly hope somebody at least released the dog.

    I can’t bare to click on the WSPCA link, I’ve got enough of a picture from your post, and thanks for not posting the pictures, life is sad enough, imagination is already chokkers with abhorrent images, concocted by self and doesn’t need any fresh ‘uns. The link to the petition doesn’t seem to work. (btw)

    People who behave in such mindlessly cruel ways towards any living being, do not deserve a place in life. Obviously however, this paticular artist/sadist has consigned himself to his very own hell on earth.

  • Jayne says:

    The descriptions are enough to turn any decent person’s stomach.
    That’s not art it’s mindless cruelty.

  • Helen says:

    Someone had a comment in moderation and I apologise to that someone because I have accidentally deleted it, but they pointed out that the link to the petition is incorrect. Now fixed.

  • Ed says:

    Hi there Helen!

    I’m tracing this 5 random weird things about you tag back through the interweb. Been an interesting voyage stumbling backwards.

    I recently watched a film, that from your post, I think you’d like. It is called The Year of the Dog. It is a touching comedy about a woman who loves her dog and her journey to becoming an animal rights activist.

    Cheers,
    Ed

  • Dysthymiac says:

    Lorraine Crescent blogger posted pics of Apollo Bay gigs …

  • Helen says:

    Thanks for that headzup H, I am still trying to find time to blog that weekend – the picture of the Star of the Sea will be handy for a pic of where we NEARLY stayed… or rather where we should have stayed… More about that later (ominously)

  • Helen says:

    Ed, I actually disliked the YOTD because of the disastrous mess she made of the German Shepherd (did you notice how she got in his face while he was eating – she’s not taking the trouble to learn about dogs per se or the potential difference between this guy and her former dog.) Her cluelessness and that of her “dog whisperer” friend leads to the death of the dog and of another dog. THen she starts HOARDING!!! THey’re the kind of “dog lovers” that leave the dog shelters and vets with dreadful messes.

    I recently saw No Country for Old Men – great movie, but sheesh, did they have to have as many scenes with dead / injured dogs!?

  • Ed says:

    Hi again,

    yes, I did notice the way the central character acted around the shepard and yes it was a total mess.

    But that was part of the point to the film!!!

    Life is a mess! People make mistakes finding their way! No-one comes to an epiphany / as big a change of life of that sort in a neat way.

    Guess even though I love animals I love people more than animals.

    Cheers,
    Ed

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