Killing Art at the MoMA

Via the New York Sun:

One of the main artworks in the Museum of Modern Art‘s current exhibition, “Design and the Elastic Mind” — a tiny jacket composed of embryonic stem cells taken from mice — has died, the Art Newspaper reported yesterday.

The piece, “Victimless Leather” by Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, was designed to remain “living” throughout the exhibition, which opened February 24 and runs through May 12. The collection of stem cells was fed nutrients by tube, but expanded too quickly and clogged its own incubation system within five weeks of the exhibition’s opening.

The head of MoMA’s architecture and design department and curator of the show, Paola Antonelli, had to turn off the life-support system for the work, essentially “killing” it. But the decision wasn’t easy. “I’ve always been pro-choice and all of a sudden I’m here not sleeping at night about killing a coat,” she told the paper.

So, how is this different from the supposed abortion art at Yale? I never had an issue with the student who wanted to induce herbal abortions on herself as part of her project (though I personally think that if it was proven to be true she should have been given a psychological evaluation before she was allowed to proceed with it as part of Yale’s program) but others did. I assume it’s good ol’ fashioned speciesism at work.

To their credit, the Art Newspaper piece does hint at the double-standard:

Catts says his intention is “to raise questions about our exploitation of other living beings”. (source)

A pic of “Victimless Leather” via jenadactyl‘s Flickrstream.

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