Animal Art, Brutality in San Francisco

**Update** 3.31.08
The exhibition has been canceled due to threats. It is still not clear whether ADEL killed the animals himself, or documented their slaughter at the hands of Farm Workers (who typically use sledgehammers ??). If anyone can provide the information to sort out any confusion, it would be appreciated. Was this documentation or was it staged specifically for exhibition? The answer could draw a significant line between useful discourse to help animals and expose a cruel practice, and an artist who bludgeoned animals for himself for shock-value.
I am receiving many angry emails. I want to clarify – documenting animal cruelty is one of the most powerful tools animal advocates have. Look at the Hallmark beef recall case. It’s not that animal advocates can’t handle seeing these images – quite the contrary – it’s because of these images many of us have become animal advocates in the first place.  The problem is that the context of these brutalities is out of sight and the gallery has not provided information or clarity regarding what happened here – which surely would be expected had these animals been dogs, cats, or people. Of course there is outrage when the public is allowed to assume that ‘someone has bludgeoned Bambi for an art exhibit’.
It has been brought to my attention that an Algerian artist by the name of ADEL ABDESSEMED will be having an exhibition called “Don’t Trust Me” at the San Francisco Art Institute (see below for details), that documents his killing, via sledgehammer, of six animals — a sheep, a horse, an ox, a pig, a goat, and a doe. Worst of all, it was partly paid for by tax money (Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund).

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