Sunday, May 22, 2011

Speechless Gray Horse


The horse's eyes are sown shut. Its mouth too. Its body is tightly bound with thin rope. Parts of its legs are missing. This horse lies, dismembered, yet peaceful, almost comforting, yet nightmarish, on the floor in Zürich's Kunsthaus. It is a work of art, "Speechless Gray Horse" (2004)  by the Flemish artist Berlinde de Bruyckere. Her pseudo-anatomical works, like this one, evoke thoughts of abuse and suffering. I am reminded of Picasso's Guernica. But Picasso's horse is screaming in silence, while Bruyckere's is almost sleeping.


Our newspapers fills our days with examples of abuse, our television news offer us glimpses of dismemberment, but we can simply switch channels. One moment it is a bomb in Pakistan or the war in Afghanistan, next it is Desperate Housewives.  Bruyckere's work is disturbing. There are people who find her "Speechless Gray Horse" disgusting, but have no opinion on NATO's war in Afghanistan; a war fought in their name, financed by their taxes.  Now, that is disturbing.

18 comments:

  1. isn't this fake horse?

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  2. Is this horse a stuffed real horse, or is it faux?

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  3. what fucking abuse!

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  4. This is beautiful, if a little disturbing...

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  5. Thanks for your question. No, the horse is real in as much as it is the skins of horses sewn together.

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  6. This is discussing! I don't even now what else to say I am appalled someone would do this to a horse dead or live. I get the point of the "ART" but still.

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    1. Clearly, you do not in fact "get" "the art." Still.

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    2. I am an artist and sculptor and pro horse rights activist. Even though the message is conveyed well Its a disgusting display. How did they acquire the skin, why couldnt they carve it from marble or something, etc. etc. etc.

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  7. Don't worry. The hides that she uses all come from horses that died natural deaths.

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  8. Ouf i am speechless myself if thats what you call art i call that distturbing and sick can you just paint like everybody else dont know where you took that ideal but aviously you need some help women( sicko)

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    1. Can agree any more! AMEN to that!I don't see myself doing this and I am an artist...From
      OZZYOSBOURNE4LIFE

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  9. Okay, Okay I'm know to be an artist but this is just flipping heartless, I mean who had the balls to dismeamber a poor grey horse that obviously was used for what I call Butt-Beauty. HOW HEARTLESS!!!
    - From OzzyOsbourne4life

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  10. It's different, and a little unnerving but admittedly I had to take several minutes to get my mind around it. Bravo

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  11. Not all art must be beautiful. Art reflects life and life is disturbing at times. Therefore art must sometimes be disturbing.

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    1. I agree. Thanks for your comment.

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    2. - skins came from animals that died from natural causes, means that the animal did not suffer abuse for the art. The artist did not slaughter the animal for the skin.
      - though disturbing to look at, nothing suffered pain for the work to be created, the artist who created this is not a sicko, she is using form to create a point.
      - if you hate this work that's fine, but if you hate it because it is animal skin you better not have any leather in your home, consume dairy or eggs that are not free range, or use products which are destroying habitats of animals, because that is real animal abuse.
      - just because you are an artist does not mean your style or taste is more valid than anyone else. Just because you would rather see something in marble or paint does not mean it should be.

      Yes, I look at this work and feel sad and uncomfortable, but because of the message. Because of what it means. And the medium used to create the work was a conscious choice by the artist that potentially carried the message stronger than faking it in plastic (a product which does mass damage to the environment and animal habitats), or carving it in marble ( which takes a lot longer than a commission or contract would usually give you).

      I totally understand why people are looking at this and getting upset, but I would ask that you take a step back and think about what is upsetting you and do some research before calling something wrong or disgusting.
      I do not condone animal abuse in any way, but I don't believe the use of animal skins in an ethical way is any worse than cremating someone and keeping their ashes in a jar, or burying a pet in the yard.

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    3. Thanks for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment.

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