The criticism that a toad, a lizard, perhaps even a cricket or a millipede may die during the show's run makes a mockery of Vancouver's world-class pretensions.
It makes us look like a city of philistines.
yeah, the crux of the article is 'if you dont think a model panopticon full of ugly little creatures is the height of culture, youre a backwater hick.' fair enough, bro - nobody said my neck wasn't red.
i thought dada was meant to be unsettling. if you're an unfeeling knob, you might be disturbed in that "bentham's prison full of animals, oh, the irony is so grossly inappropriate!" sense. mulgrew fancies this is really what is grinding animal rights activists' gears. as compelling as the bentham-on-my-mind theory is, reactions are likely more visceral than that due to the fact prisons and creepy-crawlies are involved. if mulgrew is writing this sanctimonious cage-liner in order to stir us into a dadaist frenzy, this is actually brilliant journalism. somehow, i think he's approaching it from the "only a hick would care about spider rights" place.
i'm not giving him much credit, because he does a few things in the article that make him seem like a philistine or poseur. firstly, he claims artist huang yong ping's work is brilliant because it "resonates with insight into the current clash of civilizations, faiths and ideologies." anyone who uses the phrase 'clash of civilizations' is, at best, intellectually lazy and definitely too much of a philistine to go around calling others out on their lack of ze culture. secondly, he refers to foucault as a 'legal theorist' when anyone worth their weight in avant-garde intellectual street cred knows that we refer to these french people simply as 'theorists' (or social theorists, if you must) because disciplinary boundaries are just that fucking passé. ok, so this evaluation of him isnt exactly serious. i guess what i am hinting at is that vancouver is a hick city, and that by equally pretentious standards, ian mulgrew is also a hick who writes missives for the village news.
next time, avoid the 'it's good because i can bring up foucault in conjunction with it' and stick to something more moralizing and pedantic... like, say, the fact kierkegaard would agree with you, and want the vancouverites to make the jump from the moral to the aesthetic.
"This brouhaha over creepy-crawlies is bush league," he maintains, going on to discredit the normative claims of the protest as "the equivalent of condemning fishing because anglers use worms." well, dude, i have news for you - some vegan animal rights hippies would protest that. and because we dont live in the communist china you so touchingly invoke at the conclusion of the article, we let them go around and do so.
if the humane society tells people not to see the exhibit, then it just gets more press. if people are revolted, it recalls the halcyon days of dada.
yeah, vancouver does need awesome art exhibits, but it doesnt need hacks from the village news reminding us that we are hicks if we take issue with them. and fuck this 'world-class city' shit - didn't toronto copyright that phrase to help them feel better about themselves?