Friday, 20 February 2009

Arts Centre Gets The Bird

Mircea Cantor - The Need For Uncertainty (2009)Camden Arts Centre got the bird today ... er ... two, to be precise. Mircea Cantor's new sculptural installation thingy, which "elaborates on the theme of uncertainty", features two live "peacocks" in a golden cage. The uncertainty is that the poor birds don't know when the hell they'll be let out. (Answer: 20 April.) There's also a "flying carpet" suspended on wires. Bird-brain Suzanne Cotter, the pathetic curator, should be sacked for allowing this bird poo into the centre. All readers, please report her to the RSPCA (CLICK). By the way, if you look closely at The Need For Uncertainty you'll see that the caged "peacocks" are one peacock and one peahen. And yes, you guessed it: this nonsense is supported by Arts Council England in collusion with the Romanian Cultural Institute in London and the Ratiu Foundation. A disgrace!


At 24/2/09, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The peacocks in this exhibition are receiving the best possible care. See questions and answers below from Camden Arts Centre:

Have you sought advice on how to look after the birds?
- We have taken care to consult a diverse range of specialists for expert recommendations on caring for the peacocks and on their general welfare. The answers below detail the precautions we have taken according to the advice we have been given. We have been informed by the RSPCA and other specialists that we are taking all responsible steps to ensure that the animals are well cared for.

Where are the birds from?
- The birds have come from an RSPCA-recommended peacock farm in Norfolk, and will be returned there at the end of the exhibition. They are not wild birds, they were bred on the farm and are accustomed to being in a pen. They are the Indian Blue variety of peacock, and are both around 2 years old, one male, one female.

How did you settle the birds in to the gallery?
- The birds were brought into the gallery 4 days in advance of the exhibition, to allow them time to acclimatise, and to check that they would settle in to their new environment.

What do the birds eat?
- The birds are fed on recommended bird feed supplied by the breeder, plus vegetation to compensate for not being outdoors. They have constant access to the feed and to fresh drinking water.

Have the birds been checked by a vet?
- London Vetinary College made an inspection of the birds on their arrival at the gallery and periodic inspections will be made on a fortnightly basis thereafter. We have a report stating that the birds are in good physical condition. The vets are on call during the period of the exhibition.

- The heating in the Gallery 3 has been switched off, to minimise the difference in temperature between their recent environment and this environment.
- Gallery 3 where the peacocks are housed is primarily lit with natural light. The sunlight is not direct, and from February through April (the time of the exhibition) never too hot. The gallery is ventilated with fresh air.
- The size of the largest cage is in excess of the minimum required.
- The cages contain three large perches, positioned at different heights, as the birds like to roost.
- The floor inside the cages is covered with wood chips, and these are changed when necessary.
- The cage is positioned in the corner of the room, so that one side is more private. This private side has been supplemented with branches to provide more cover for the birds.

Do you have a license to have animals in the gallery?
- We have been notified by Camden Council that a performing animals license permitting us to have the peacocks in the gallery is not required, as we have demonstrated that we are taking care of the birds to their satisfaction. A representative of the Council visited us at the start of the exhibition and an animal welfare officer will do so thereafter to check the birds’ wellbeing.

At 24/2/09, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Thank you for all that reassuring information.

I still dislike the idea of "artists" using living animals for so-called "art installations". It isn't art and it is open to abuse.

Wildlife photography, on the other hand....

At 25/2/09, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that artists think they can use sentient creature for their so called art, to me, proves they are not artists at all. This condones the incarceration of animals. The peacocks, I grant you, are beautiful, but should be seen in the open where they can display their true spendour.
Their beauty is their own and the artist has done nothing to enhance it.

At 26/2/09, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Absolutely. I'm glad you agree with me.


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