Here’s how it went:
1. Artist ties a dog to a tether on one corner of a room in a museum
2. Artist places bowl of food just out of reach in other corner
3. Over a period of days, dog dies of starvation.
Except, as it turns out, the whole thing was a hoax. The dog was regularly fed and watered, and released at the end of the exhibit.
It has now emerged, however, that artist Guillermo Habacuc Vargas intended the work to be a stunt to show how a starving dog suddenly becomes the centre of attention when it is in a gallery, but not when it is on the street. The work was intended to expose people for what they really are - "hypocritical sheep". He said that in order for the work to be valid, he and the gallery had to give the impression that the dog was genuinely starving to death and that it died.
This runs up against an issue we see all the time as crime writers: you can describe rape, dismemberment and skinning alive, but if you really want to get some hate mail, have somebody kill a dog, or even worse, a cat. I actually had written a scene in SAFE AND SOUND where the bad guy uses a yowling cat locked in the trunk of a car to suck his victims in so that the bomb in the car would kill more people. A dozen people died in the scene but the cat got away unscathed. I dropped the cat part because it just didn't fit the tone, but I may still use something similar someday.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Kill A Dozen People, But For God's Sake Don't Hurt the Dog
From Balloon Juice:
Posted by JD Rhoades at Saturday, April 12, 2008