ISSN: 20455836
First published in 2012
2 issues per volume
Volume 1 Issue 3
Cover Date: December 2012
Behaving Badly: Animals and the Ethics of Participatory Art
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Authors:  Jonathan Wallis 
DOI: 10.1386/jcs.1.3.315_1

participatory exhibitions,ethics in art exhibitions,Marco Evaristti,art and the law,animals in art,animal rights

This article examines the artistic and curatorial strategy of inviting harm to animals in participatory art installations. Marco Evaristti's controversial Helena (2000), at the Trapholt Museum, demonstrates how the use and mistreatment of animals in art can generate intense debates over animal rights and artistic freedom. The modernist space of the museum, with its presumption of autonomy, can become, in these instances, a site of moral exceptionalism that produces problematic social and legal behaviour in the audience. The deliberate inclusion of animals in provocative and threatening situations poses an ethical quandary in both art and society at large, as well as raising difficult questions about conduct and responsibility within museums.
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