Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Suicide Art: a digression

As you know—even children know it!—animals want to die to enrich our lunches. And our wardrobes, our leisure time, our medicine chests, and our decrepit cultural institutions. And other things besides.

We've seen them all, all the ways animals are dying to serve us by serving up themselves. The July 3, 2011, edition of The New York Times Magazine suggests one that escaped our reeling imagination: art. Yes, we can now assume animals enjoy dying for our art.

In a piece titled "Among the Piglets," by Randy Kennedy, we learn about what Peter Nadin, onetime leading light of the intellectual New York City art circuit, has been up to lately. And what he's been up to is farming. We learn about how his experiences on the land have led him back to art. But we're not the only ones inspired. The animals are pretty darn happy about it, too! One of his projects is the artistic drying and curing of "a half-dozen mold-covered hams." Says Mr. Nadin, whether about his artistic or agrarian pursuits, we're not quite sure:
The pigs, for their part, might not agree that it's such a good thing to have happen, I suppose. But it seems to me like a pretty noble end, all in all. I wouldn't mind being eaten, you know? Meet your end in the forest somewhere and the coyotes and other animals eat your body? In fact, I think it would be quite a dignified way to go.
Almost as nobly dignified, we would venture, as having your entire life taken over by some artist who wants to make you his property, kill you, and make supper or art out of you.

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