The Kunstmuseum in Wolfsburg, Germany shut down a Damien Hirst set up displaying lifeless flies after the animal rights group PETA complained to the town final week. The work, titled “A Hundred Years” (1990), consists of a glass show case during which flies hatch, fly towards a shiny gentle, after which are incinerated by the identical gentle that draws them. The mechanism replicates the expertise of widespread fly zappers.
“We thought that flies didn’t come underneath the Animal Welfare Act,” mentioned Andreas Beitin, director of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, in an announcement to German information outlet Braunschweiger Zeitung. In keeping with German legislation, “nobody could trigger an animal ache, struggling or hurt with out good cause.”
“Killing animals has nothing to do with artwork, it simply reveals the vanity of people that actually will cease at nothing for their very own pursuits,” a PETA consultant mentioned in response to the show of the work in Wolfsburg.
An analogous model of Hirst’s work known as “A Thousand Years” (1990) included an actual cow head under the sunshine. The lifeless flies would then accumulate across the rotting head.
This isn’t the primary time that Damien Hirst — one of many world’s wealthiest artists — has come underneath hearth from animal rights teams. His work “The Bodily Impossibility of Loss of life within the Thoughts of Somebody Dwelling” (1991) contains a floating 14-foot tiger shark preserved with formaldehyde — “caught and killed by a fisherman in Australia at Mr. Hirst’s behest in 1991,” in accordance with the New York Instances. And in 2012, the artist was accused of killing 9,000 butterflies for an set up at Tate Fashionable in London.
The now-dismantled set up was included in an exhibition known as Energy! Gentle! that explored the advantages and disadvantages of the human invention: “On the one hand, synthetic gentle makes cultural occasions attainable, presents social area and safety, can showcase individuals, objects, or client articles and thus lend them which means. However, energy is exercised with the focused use of electrical gentle: It may be used to watch, manipulate, exclude, and even destroy,” reads an outline of the exhibition on the museum’s web site.
Energy! Gentle!, which included the work of over 60 artists, closed July 10. The Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg has not responded to Hyperallergic’s request for remark.