Cowart's Common Room
This is appalling.


In 2007, the 'artist' Guillermo Vargas Habacuc, took a dog from the street, he tied him to a rope in an art gallery, starving him to death.

For several days, the 'artist' and the visitors of the exhibition have watched emotionless the shameful 'masterpiece' based on the dog's agony, until eventually he died.

Sally has asked me to put this up . . . it is appaling that people actually stood by and let this poor dog die in front of everybody in the name of art . . .

I can't bring myself to put up the pictures they are just too awful and I cry every time I see them.

But this is not all ... the prestigious Visual Arts Biennial of the Central American decided that the 'installation' was actually art, so that Guillermo Vargas Habacuc has been invited to repeat his cruel action for the biennial of 2008. Can you believe that.

Let's STOP HIM!!!!!

Click on the following link :

Posted at 22nd Apr 2008 - 10:25AM   Posted by Westerwitch   This is appalling. Comments: 17

Westerwitch's Avatar I have signed and suggested that if they want to watch an animal die that they chooses a human who has a choice in the matter.

The pictures made my blood run cold - this poor dog tied up starving to death whilst people ignored it and looked at the art in the gallery. We really have to sunk to new depths if this becomes an accepted from of art and obviously it has in the gallery named in the post because they want it to happen again . . . .un-fugging-believable.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 22nd Apr 2008 at 10:30AM

Crystal Jigsaw's Avatar I have signed the petition and read some of the comments. I simply can't believe it WW. Shocked and horrified is not strong enough to describe how I feel about this action. People are genuinely trying to get on in the world as artists but this kind of behaviour makes a mockery of the whole profession. That man is a complete barstool. It will be a miracle if he isn't caught by protesters and tied up himself. And those who watch the dog (s) in the belief that this is art are truly sick themselves and ought to be brought to justice.

Rant over but this kind of thing really makes my blood boil.
CJ xx

Posted by: Crystal Jigsaw on 22nd Apr 2008 at 10:43AM

You might like to read this too, which has a different slant on this story, where the dog named Navitad was already close to death and starving and one of countless thousands of dogs in a similar situation of the street.

It is alleged that the Humane Society looked into this, and verified the artist's version of events, and not those reported in the media.

I guess the truth is out there somewhere.

Posted by: ZoŽ on 22nd Apr 2008 at 11:11AM

Jackofall's Avatar It might be worth looking at this link as well. There appears to be some doubt as to whether things actually happened as some have made out. Certainly the range of pictures from those protesting is not as extensive as one might think - there are no pictures of the dog in its final stages of life, for instance, as I would have thought there would be in an effort to engender public support and anger. And if there were animal lovers there taking pictures, why on earth didn't they take matters into their own hands and release the dog themselves?

Posted by: Jackofall on 22nd Apr 2008 at 11:17AM

Crystal Jigsaw's Avatar I guess there is animal cruelty going on all around us, most of us just wish to ignore it until something like this comes out and send us (me) into a rage! Jackofall, you have a good point about animal lovers not taking matters into their own hands. Unbelievable. I like to keep an open mind but I don't like to see dogs starving either.

Posted by: Crystal Jigsaw on 22nd Apr 2008 at 11:30AM

Withy Brook's Avatar Signed but not commented. It appeared nauseous but if it was actually a protest against starving dogs in general it was a very 'un-nice' way of doing it.

Posted by: Withy Brook on 22nd Apr 2008 at 11:36AM

Jackofall's Avatar There's this version as well.

Posted by: Jackofall on 22nd Apr 2008 at 11:39AM

Faith's Avatar This can't be true...... surely. I will read your links. The thought makes me feel physically sick.

Posted by: Faith on 22nd Apr 2008 at 12:12PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Whatever the truth, the dog was still taken into the gallery and allowed to starve - although apparently it was given water. It is still not art and still appaling. I don't see any exhibitions with people living on the street starving to death in the gallery - surely the same argument is valid. The money the artist got for his exhibits in the gallery he should have at least seen that if the dog didn't die that it didn't simply return to its life on the street but was found a good home - or was it more a case of use and discard . . .assuming it didn't die of course. The pictures show the dog tied up with no food no water and no bed.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 22nd Apr 2008 at 12:23PM

Preseli Mags's Avatar I read the links and signed. I still don't think it is 'art'. An art gallery isn't the place for a dog (unless it's a guide dog).

Posted by: Preseli Mags on 22nd Apr 2008 at 02:10PM

SallysChateau's Avatar Interesting extra links Jacko and Zoe, thanks.

Posted by: SallysChateau on 22nd Apr 2008 at 02:29PM

Jackofall's Avatar The problem is, as I said before, that we don't know what the truth is. There is reference to the dog being fed by the artist when it wasn't part of the exhibition, and another reference to the exhibition only lasting three hours. The gallery owner is recorded as saying that the dog escaped that night, so we can't know if it died (as a reslult of the treatment at the gallery).

Certainly there are pictures of it not looking overly distressed, and if it was a street dog then it's bound to have looked malnourished.

I think this may have been one of those stories that was put out some time after the event (the exhibition was in either August or October last year), with the propagators of the story hoping for a knee jerk reaction without the readers having the opportunity or taking time to check the facts.

Posted by: Jackofall on 22nd Apr 2008 at 04:03PM

Westerwitch's Avatar You could well be right Jacko . . .no smoke without fire though and I doubt we will ever know the real truth.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 22nd Apr 2008 at 04:08PM

Inthemud's Avatar This is appalling. I have signed petition

Posted by: Inthemud on 22nd Apr 2008 at 05:22PM

Camilla's Avatar I was feeling a tad low today, feel even worse now, I have not clicked into any pictures as know I would be too upset. Even by just reading what happened, I burst out crying at my PC, make me sick to the stomach. I have signed the petition and left my comments there. The thought of that poor defenceless dog suffering, how can that be art.! I think the human should be strung up and starved, see how he likes it.

Why did no one in that Gallery rescue that poor dog from his suffering, I know I would have, anyone trying to stop me would have to suffer serious consequences. Aghgh, makes my blood boil...

Posted by: Camilla on 23rd Apr 2008 at 03:02AM

Kat's Avatar I've checked around also, and it appears that the atrist admitted at one time to letting the dog starve in the gallery, then retracted that and said it would have died anyway because it was already sick.

In the name of "art", why not show what a great person ANYONE was, and take the poor thing to the vet for treatment or euthenasia, reagrdless of whether it would have died anyway!? I can't believe that the gallery owner would let a dog die of anything in his gallery, nor that the gallery visitors wouldn't have done something...except, well yes I can believe it because here I am in South America and I see a lot of people step over the sick and dying every day and don't blink an eye. But the gallery owner certainly woud have raised a fuss if the dog had pooped or puked in the gallery. We certainly wouldn't want to expose potential customers to THAT kind of mess.Evil or Very Mad

Posted by: Kat on 23rd Apr 2008 at 03:48AM

I too am horrified by this apparently extreme form of torture. I am a very 'doggy' person and do get upset by all forms of cruelty to animals.

It starts with teasing, not regarding animals as sentient beings and showing respect to them.

I did not get a dog till my children were old enough to understand that beloved dog was not a toy.

I personally dislike animals dressed up, I am not talking about protection against weather but making the animal look foolish.

For me this is just one step away from accepting cruelty.

I don't go to circuses or zoos for the same reason

Posted by: Miss penelope on 23rd Apr 2008 at 08:05AM

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