Guggenheim Pulls Works from Show


Make text smaller Make text larger


Activists claimed works promote animal cruelty


Photos



  • Animal rights activists gathered in front of the Guggenheim Museum on Sept. 23 to protest the planned exhibition of controversial works of art involving animals. Photo: Edita Birnkrant




  • Animal rights activists gathered in front of the Guggenheim Museum Sept. 23 to protest the planned exhibition of controversial works of art involving animals. Photo: Edita Birnkrant




The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has pulled three controversial works of art from an upcoming exhibition in response to sustained criticism from animal rights activists, who claim that the pieces promote cruelty against animals.

The exhibition, entitled “Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World” and scheduled to open October 6, was slated to feature several works involving animals, including dogs, insects and pigs. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, NYCLASS (New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets) and other animal rights groups demanded that the museum remove the pieces from the show in a protest in front of the museum on September 23 and an online petition that received more than 630,000 signatures as of September 26.

The Guggenheim issued a statement on September 25 announcing that the works would not be displayed in the exhibition “[o]ut of concern for the safety of its staff, visitors, and participating artists.”

“Although these works have been exhibited in museums in Asia, Europe, and the United States, the Guggenheim regrets that explicit and repeated threats of violence have made our decision necessary,” the museum's statement read. “As an arts institution committed to presenting a multiplicity of voices, we are dismayed that we must withhold works of art. Freedom of expression has always been and will remain a paramount value of the Guggenheim.”

Among the three pieces pulled from the exhibition is a video installation showing dogs trying to fight each other. The video, entitled “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other,” is a recording of a 2003 Beijing art piece that had four pairs of American pit bulls on opposing treadmills charging at each other but not touching. The Guggenheim said that the piece is intentionally provocative and the dogs in the video were not harmed, while animal rights supporters said the video showed animal abuse.

“We hope that other art institutions and museums take note of the fact that there is little public tolerance for art that harms animals,” Edita Birnkrant, the executive director of NYCLASS, said in a statement after the Guggenheim announced that the works would be pulled.

—with The Associated Press





Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments



MUST READ NEWS

Image Tweet welcome from the Fed
A “DearJohninNYC” campaign gives the new boss from San Francisco a crash course in New York — and proves central bankers can have a sense of humor
Dustups, political and otherwise

east side observer

BY ARLENE KAYATT

No can do — CB8’s chairwoman broke the cardinal rule of keeping politics out of governmental meetings by...

Image Second Ave. to get biking upgrades
DOT plan calls for new dedicated lane, pedestrian island at Queensboro Bridge intersection

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Neighborhood Newsletters





MOST READ

Local News
Crafting a Kennedy legacy
  • Jul 11, 2018
Local News
Tweet welcome from the Fed
  • Jul 10, 2018
Local News
Drawing board
  • Jul 12, 2018
Crime Watch
Crime watch
  • Jul 9, 2018
City Arts News
The essential Giacometti
  • Jul 13, 2018

MOST COMMENTED