As someone who pursues a vegan lifestyle and diet, I don’t tend to think of myself as as the sort of person that does what I’m about to do – tell someone that what they’re doing is wrong based on my beliefs. I’m sure I do this every once in a while, but I’ve never tried to convert someone, I don’t give the guy at NYY Steak dirty looks when I walk by, and I’ve never been to a protest in my life… but I’m thinking about starting. Writing today about Ann Hamilton’s installation at the Park Avenue Armory might be the first step.
When I first started reading about Hamilton’s art project and the idea of audience as art, I was intrigued. Then, I saw the photos of the giant swing along with the giant curtain and I was getting ready to check this out first hand. I was getting excited about art (which is tough for me), excited about leaving the house when not going to the movies or a bar (tougher still) and then I saw the photo of the pigeon below.
I’m sorry, but if you can’t make art without putting animals in tiny cages, then fuck you. I don’t care what you’re trying to express or what you’re trying to say – putting a pigeon in a cage is not art, it’s bullshit. That’s why the only person in the photo is part of the exhibit – nobody else wants to go over there. Maybe because animals in tiny cages is depressing, maybe because they don’t like that lady’s singing… I don’t know for sure, but art (any kind of art) is supposed to be about making people feel something, and if the only way you can accomplish that is by putting birds in tiny cages, then I say fuck your exhibit – I’m not coming.