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Q & A: When Art Abuses Animals

Vancouver humane organizations confront art gallery over an exhibit’s use of live animals

Vancouver humane organizations confront art gallery over an exhibit’s use of live animals

Toad photo: Michelle Milliman/Dreamstime.com
If a caller told you that a new local art exhibit featured dozens of cats and dogs trapped together with no food, water, or places to retreat, you would scramble out the door to help those animals. But what if the exhibit contained lizards, tarantulas, and insects? Would your response be the same?

It was for staff at the Vancouver Humane Society and the British Columbia SPCA, after they learned that live scorpions, snakes, crickets, and other creatures would be displayed in Chinese artist Huang Yong Ping’s “Theatre of the World” exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

In this excerpted interview, the Vancouver Humane Society’s project and communications director, Peter Fricker, talks with freelancer Julie Miller Dowling about the exhibit, its unfortunate conflict between artistic expression and humane treatment of animals, and its subsequent closure.

 Read the full article.

 

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