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Artist banned from strangling puppies
She was planning to do what? Photo: DPA

Artist banned from strangling puppies

Published: 27 Apr 2012 17:02 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Apr 2012 17:02 GMT+02:00

A German artist who planned to strangle two puppies to death on stage in a Berlin theatre has been told that highlighting the plight of sled dogs in Alaska is not a good enough reason to kill the dogs.

The performance, entitled "Death as Metamorphosis," was to take place next week in a small theatre in the Spandau district of Berlin. Accompanied by funeral music and a gong, the artist was going to strangle two puppies with cable ties after a brief meditation.

According to a report in the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper, the provocative piece was meant to highlight the plight of sled dogs in Alaska and hunting dogs in Spain, which are said to be killed in the same way once they can no longer work.

The artist's planned performance was influenced by "traditional Thai art forms," the Express newspaper reported.

The Berlin administrative court stopped the show from going ahead on Friday, saying that animal protection laws forbid an animal from being harmed in any way in a show. The artist had argued that Germany's constitution "unconditionally guarantees artistic freedom."

The report appeared in the same week as a controversial project by two art students at Berlin's University of the Arts (UdK). Students Iman Rezai and Rouven Materne are threatening to guillotine a sheep on camera, depending on the results of an online vote.

The experiment is meant to stimulate debate on humanity and democracy. Materne said the guillotine was chosen because "it represents a society that wants to give its cruelties the appearance of humanity."

According to a report in Berlin's Tagesspiegel newspaper, the website registered 190,000 "No" votes and 120,000 "Yes" votes in six days.

"The anonymity of the internet lures the perversity out of some people," the 23-year-old explained. The artists are planning to ignore the protests and reveal the results of the vote in an exhibition in mid-May.

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Your comments about this article

19:30 April 27, 2012 by Wobinidan
So it's wrong to kill dogs, unless you're an artist? I personally don't care what you do with your crappy art, but don't harm anyone or anything else with it. The German government should throw him in prison to represent a protest against all the artists unfairly held in places like China.
20:00 April 27, 2012 by Bushdiver
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:19 April 27, 2012 by DickShawnsDiction
To all the Artistes in Question: I have an idea for drawing attention to the struggle against Capital Punishment...!
20:35 April 27, 2012 by Mingus
Where is the poll to guillotine the students Iman Rezai and Rouven Materne? into the German Canine Association Website?
20:47 April 27, 2012 by AClassicRed
Another example of a "modern" taking things to unnecessary extremes in which they themselves become what are supposedly highlighting as hateful.

Traditionally, among Alaskan natives, sled dogs were extremely important, without which a hunter could die. They kept him warm in the worse of storms if caught out, and they were his companions and friends. Puppies could be like their own children. You may always have someone who treats animals for whatever reason, but that is not a common practice because we, by majority try to respect all life, especially the earth and its creatures.

In an environment that is often stark in its extreme: life and death, ever present just in taking a wrong step on the ice, a wave that washes you into a freezing sea, or predatory animals who have a more than even chance of taking YOU out in a one-on-one confrontation....sometimes when an animal was old or especially if seriously injured, or resources were limited, dogs might sometimes be put to death.

I can't speak for how dogs are treated in Spain, but I am a North American Indian who taught in the Indian Education system and served as president of an association there for two elected terms. Some of these people, artists or whatever, so-called educated who like to think they are the ultimate in "humanity" and "humanitarian" have behaviors and thoguht processes which are really rather warped and so ignorant on true situations it is absurd.
22:02 April 27, 2012 by Bigfoot76
The artist had argued that Germany's constitution "unconditionally guarantees artistic freedom."

Unfortunately "Art" is being twisted into too many perverse definitions. If things such as this were to be allowed, it opens the flood gates to even worse possibilities. Society generally labels killing/mutilating/torturing animals as juvenile delinquency.

Shedding light on the sad ending to hunting and sled dogs who no longer can do what the owners want them to do is a good thing. But honestly how dumb would someone have to be to believe that killing 2 puppies onstage is supposed to be a catalyst for change?

This guy is sick and should get help.
22:55 April 27, 2012 by Anth2305
"According to a report in Berlin's Tagesspiegel newspaper, the website registered 190,000 "No" votes and 120,000 "Yes" votes in six days".

The fact that 120,000 Germans can even think about voting yes 'to guillotine a sheep on camera' leaves me feeling very worried about the German mentality.
23:12 April 27, 2012 by rfwilson
@AClassicRed

Well said!
00:20 April 28, 2012 by CPT/USA
Just because some idiot in Canada culled virtually his entire pack of "commercial" sledding dogs because he was losing money and couldn't afford them, which by the way he will be going to jail for, does not give some German idiot "artistic license" to brutally strangle two puppies to make a statement. I agree with other comments that he should consider becoming the victim of his own statement if he wants to make an impact by killing things.
02:14 April 28, 2012 by narfmaster
First of all, who cares? If this guy strangles two puppies or ten or some guy in Canada kills 50, why should I care? Seriously?

@CPT/USA - If I had dogs that were losing me money, I would also cull them. Better to cull them than to have no food for my family. Family comes first.

Back to puppies...seriously, why should I care? Dogs were at one stage helpers of humanity. Now they are kept to make people feel good about themselves. People give their pets shampooings and the finest food, then expect others to treat their pets like humans. They are not humans. They are pets kept for someone's vanity or need for friendship. The fewer pets there are, the more food available for me to eat.
03:06 April 28, 2012 by SledDogAction
In Alaska, sled dogs live under appalling conditions tethered on four-foot chains which can strangle them. But it's wrong for anyone to highlight their plight by strangling pups to death with cable ties. The sled dogs who are forced to run in the Alaskan Iditarod suffer the most. You can help them by sending protest emails to race supporters. Go to http://www.helpsleddogs.org/sponsors.htm to ask organizations to end their involvement in this cruel race.
05:46 April 28, 2012 by Bushdiver
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
08:52 April 28, 2012 by McM
Everyone is entitled to claim artistic license for whatever pathetic reason to justify their so called creative actions. Perhaps he should have encouraged a pit bull to rip him to death in protest or just suicide on stage instead of engaging the emotive puppy tactic. Smells a lot like a publicity stunt that has worked well and achieved its quota of outrage to add another line to his boring artistic CV social media world.

Think I had better go walk the dog now!
10:47 April 28, 2012 by trevor999
I like animals more than I like most people.

If I saw this POS strangling puppies on stage (or anywhere else) he'd be lucky if I didn't strangle him. And I wouldn't need cable ties...
14:14 April 28, 2012 by Andredog
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:17 April 28, 2012 by Englishted
@Andredog

Please don't beat about the bush ,say what you mean.
22:20 April 28, 2012 by PierceArrow
Puppy-strangling in the name of art? That is so Mapplethorpey!
02:37 April 29, 2012 by Khaliil
Let's hope he doesn't try to highlight suffering of any humans.
11:11 April 29, 2012 by Navigator_B
I don't believe they had any intention of performing this puppy-strangling 'art'. They must have known that was illegal and would not be allowed anyway. It sounds like the vegetarian association pretending to be a restaurant serving human meat (http://www.thelocal.de/society/20100902-29569.html). All just a publicity stunt to get attention for their cause and without having to do anything except make a press release.
23:13 May 2, 2012 by Joshontour
Dead puppies aren't much fun.

-Dr. Demento
17:20 May 3, 2012 by johnny108
How about we have an art show where 2 artists are strangled to highlight the disgusting state of affairs in modern art?
15:39 May 5, 2012 by UncleMo
here is the PETITION:

http://www.die-guillotine.com/

Please vote NEIN (no) and pass it on!
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