September 2, 2008

"Artist to feed convict to goldfish."

Because I think maybe there are some people here who'd like to talk about something other than Sarah Palin, I give you this, a story that has it all: art, fish, crime, death, weirdness, lameness, law.
Gene Hathorn, who has been on death row since 1985, has given his consent for artist Marco Evaristti, the bad boy of the Danish art scene, to use his body as an art installation.

"My aim is to first deep freeze Gene's body and then make fish food out of it. Visitors to my exhibition will be able to feed goldfish with it," Evaristti told the Art Newspaper.
Oh, bullshit. How is this different from scattering ashes on... wherever... a beach volleyball court in China?

The artist imagines that the work will somehow make an argument against capital punishment. I make my living trying to fathom legal arguments, and I don't see it at all. Now if Evaristti sat in a cage in a gallery subsisting on freeze-dried Hathorn until he approached death, I would understand the argument. I'm not saying I would buy it, but I would understand it.

IN THE COMMENTS: Cannibal jokes.


Will said...

Statement against the death penalty? I wouldn't perceive it that way at all. I'd be feeding the goldfish, thinking, "Ahhhh... the circle of life."

Seven Machos said...

I, too, don't see it as any kind of statement against the death penalty. Quite to the contrary, it's art that favors the death penalty. It's imperative that the death penalty flourish. Think of all the goldfish we'll feed.

former law student said...

Because I think maybe there are some people here who'd like to talk about something other than Sarah Palin

I wonder what Michael Palin is up to these days. Is he still doing travelogues?

Smilin' Jack said...

"Artist to feed convict to goldfish."

Because I think maybe there are some people here who'd like to talk about something other than Sarah Palin, I give you this...

If this is the alternative, I vote for more Palin.

How long has it been since there was a story about art that was actually interesting instead of merely bizarre? Contemporary art has become a competition in attention-seeking weirdness. Leave it to the National Enquirer, and let's get back to Palin.

MadisonMan said...

Is there anyone else who see Palin and reads Putin like I do?

How about a scientific experiment: Do goldfish thrive on shredded dead convicts, or do they do better on good old fish food? Scientist to feed convict to goldfish. Would the reaction to that be different?

Paddy O. said...

I wonder what Michael Palin is up to these days.

Indeed. He just had a great tour of Eastern Europe on television earlier this year. Very entertaining. He's getting up there in age, but still makes some of the most entertaining travel shows. Not only funny, but also quite non-tourist trappy.

I think we all could agree on loving Michael Palin.

Anyone know if the Terry Jones history documentaries are any good?

And this all fits into this thread because feeding death row inmates to fish as art has a strong Meaning of Life vibe to it.

former law student said...

Back in the 60s, people would write novelizations of various TV shows: such as Man from Uncle and even Gomer Pyle. I had a copy of a book based on the Addams Family, with a quote I suddenly remember:

Gomez to Lurch: Have you seen Uncle Fester?
Lurch: He's feeding the dog.

To the crocodile.

Seven Machos said...

Let's feed Palin to goldfish. After all, she's such a terrible candidate. Everybody on the left says so and the Republicans should always look to them for electoral advice.

It would be a clever way to dispose of her and take on someone more palatable to Talkleft. How about Chris Dodd? Barbara Boxer? Will you praise us just a little bit if McCain selects John Kerry?

Peter V. Bella said...

Now if Evaristti sat in a cage in a gallery subsisting on freeze-dried Hathorn until he approached death, I would understand the argument. I'm not saying I would buy it, but I would understand it.

Ah, yes, the age old cannibalism arguement. Should man eat his fellow man for any reason?

Soylent Green anyone?

knox said...

An awful lot of artists just come up with something shocking and then attach liberal values to it. Then *presto* it becomes important.

I remember hearing an interview with the guy who wrote and directed the "Hostel" movies. You wouldn't believe all the anti-capitalist, anti-American "themes" he claimed inspired his gorefests. I think it was Elvis Mitchell who was interviewing him, and Mitchell just bought it hook line and sinker. It's a way for both artist and critic to look deep when they're discussing something that's just shock value, nothing more. "Bullshit" just about covers it.

Seven Machos said...

Man should only eat his fellow man out of hungriness. All other reasons are immoral.

Bissage said...

“Artist to feed convict to goldfish”


Gimme a break!!!

Marco Evaristti might be a world famous artist but he could learn a thing or two about adding layers of meaning to his work.


I’d turn the convict into fish food and feed it to these cute little guys.

Seven Machos said...

And another thing. The bad boy of the Danish art scene? Isn't that like being the most popular heavy metal bassist ever to come from French Guyana?

Chip Ahoy said...

Ha ha ha ha ha.

And he's not even going to market any of it? Dumb ass.

Now, every time I feed my rasboras and tetras I'll be thinking, "Damn. And this could have been a convict.>"

I see no problem with it at all. Not the slightest shocked or offended.

))) FAIL ! (((

MadisonMan said...

Indulge me knox. Which aspects of this artistic installation are liberal values? Killing convicts? Freeze-drying them? Feeding the debris to fish?

I'm curious.

Seven Machos said...

Freeze-drying them, of course.

AllenS said...

Peter gave me an idea.

Two cannibals are sitting at a table eating a clown, when one of the cannibals turns to the other and says: "Does this taste funny to you?"

Seven Machos said...

Why won't cannibals eat divorced women?

They're very bitter.

MadisonMan said...

List of Cannibal jokes.

I can never remember jokes. Sad story of my life.

rhhardin said...

It's the Van Gogh artist tradition to feed body parts to goldfish.

bearbee said...

Statement against the death penalty?

Doubt it as he invited and seemed willing to allow them to be blended to death. Perhaps he saw himself as some sort of social scientist.

And what is his obsession with goldfish? Cheap, souless and expendable?

Pro-Con death penalty debate.

He is one sick freak but sicker are those who dined:

Artist Feeds Friends Meatballs Made From His Own Fat

Chilean artist Marco Evaristti presented his friends with his newest creation on Thursday night: Meatballs cooked with fat from his own body, extracted by liposuction. On the plates in front of them was a serving of agnolotti pasta and in the middle, a meatball made with the fat that Evaristti had removed from his body last last year."

BTW anyone who chose to dine had to overcome this very unappetizing source

Cedarford said...

I would prefer artists try the sensitive "Mr. Wu" approach to dispose of the corpses of outlaws.

On the fine series Deadwood, Mr Wu was a meat merchant who also got payment to be the body disposal guy, feeding all who had met with thug-on-thug violence to his pigs.

With those in the know in Deadwood occasionally advising newcomers "I wouldn't have any bacon for breakfast, if I were you, M'am."

If executed murderers and all the dead thugs on our present day streets were fed to pigs, the artistic possibilities are nearly unlimited, since everything on the pig, and the poop that comes out of them, has a use.

Far more fun with pigs than with fish food.
In fact, there ought to be a "Mr. Wu's law" passed in Texas to really sent the NYC progressives into conniptions.

vbspurs said...

Wow, this story reminds me of that German cannibal who advertised for people to eat (including being videotaped as they were ate)...and he actually received HUNDREDS OF VOLUNTEER RESPONSES!

Germany was stunned by this news. And even moreso as I recall authorities couldn't stop the guy since it is not illegal in Germany to willingly offer yourself to be eaten.


vbspurs said...

A Fish Named Gene.

"I gene...gene, gene...genuinely want to be fed to goldfish."

cardeblu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cardeblu said...

Ashes to ashes.
Dust to dust.

Chum to chum.

former law student said...

that German cannibal

ONE volunteer (that we know of) ONE.

German group Rammstein memorialized this in their song Mein Teil (My Part).

from the chorus:

Denn du bist was du isst
und ihr wisst was es ist

Because you are what you eat
and you know what it is

vbspurs said...

ONE volunteer (that we know of) ONE.

Ahh, okay. The number was hugely inflated then on the German papers (but I read it when the story came out -- you know how it is).

blake said...

Fry: What if the secret ingredient is... people!?

Leela: Oh, there's already a soda like that. Soylent Cola.

Fry: Oh, how is it?

Leela: It varies from person to person.

William said...

Cannibalism is a more widespread survival mechanism than we like to let on. I remember reading a book about Hoover's relief expedition to Russia during the twenties. In one medium sized Russian town something like eleven butchers were executed for dressing human meat. During the siege of Leningrad people who did not wish to eat the corpse of a close relative would exchange it for the corpse of a neighbor... Cannibalism among close relatives is always wrong. Worse than incest in some respects. Even among strangers, I tend to disapprove. I wouldn't do it unless I was very hungry or there was only Indian food available. However as a snack food for goldfish, cannabilism is art.

TmjUtah said...

Cross Shark Week with SuperMax.

That would be art, baby.

bleeper said...

Has anyone checked with Randall Robinson to see if canibalism has returned to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Gustav? He is the go-to guy for such information.

clint said...


I love the idea of a "Mr. Wu's Law".

Added bonus: How many radical Islamic terrorists are going to want to mess with us if they know that their corpses are likely to be fed to pigs?

Iapetus said...

Art is not what an artist says it is, but what an artist does. Therefore, this performance will not be art unless it is the artist himself who is fed to the fish.