12 mayo 2008

CLARIFICATIONS

On 19th October 2007 the Director of the Galería Códice issued some "clarification's" regarding the macabre events which occurred in her Managua gallery. I replied to these declarations on 21/10/2007.

A lot more people had signed the petition by then, and many of them were writing to the Códice Gallery. The gallery responded with the "aclaración de octubre 2007."


Then they write to me saying "Since the dog escaped", what is the reason for the boycott?"

So as not to repeat my arguments ad infinitum, I'm going to give you a summary of Mrs. Juanita Bermudez' statement: The dog escaped.


MY GENERAL RESPONSE

1 – From the Blog "the little dog lives on"
"As far as I could find out the dog died the following day from lack of food. During the opening ceremony I discovered that the dog had been chased in the afternoon through the shacks made of aluminium and cardboard in a district of Managua with the name of a saint, which Habacuc could not at the time recall. He paid 5 boys to help in the capture, and they were given 10 córdobas for their collaboration. During the show some of the spectators asked the artist to release the dog, and the artist refused. The dog was given the name Natividad, and he was "allowed to stay there and die in full view of everyone." The words are clear and concise, "he was allowed to stay there and die in full view of everyone". "The dog was very sick, he was limping and wouldn't eat". So, a lot of people must have seen his dead body?

This happened on 16th August 2007 and the statement from Mrs. Bermudez was issued on 19th October 2007, in other words, she took exactly TWO MONTHS to deny the accusation, a grave one, bordering on libel if it were true. The question is, why didn't she issue her denial immediately after it was first published, why didn't she say it was a lie, and demand a rectification from the same print media, clarifying that the dog had escaped?

Diario La Nación.com (Costa Rica) The newspaper La Nacion, 4th October 2007

Seen in Managua. As part of his display, the artist brought the spectator FACE to FACE with a street dog, emaciated, sick and hungry, tied up in a corner of the gallery. He had captured the animal in one of the poor neighbourhoods of Managua.

The dog died one day after the show opened, as was confirmed to La Nación's Marta Leonor González, editor of the cultural supplement of La Prensa in Nicaragua.

And in spite of this being published in the most important Costa Rican newspaper, Mrs. Bermudez does not DEMAND a rectification by the paper, because if her version that the "dog had escaped" was true, then what the paper had published was false. This is INCONCEIVABLE !!

For these acts, the accusation leveled at Vargas would be of biocide.

From the Blog "the little dog lives on"

"The dog was chased in the afternoon through the shacks made of aluminium and cardboard in a district of Managua . . .. five boys who helped in the capture were given 10 córdobas for their collaboration. . . the dog was very sick, he was limping and wouldn't eat".

Can you picture this animal, in such a state, chased by five boys? For these acts, the accusation leveled at Vargas is that of abuse.

Diario La Nación.com
'Habacuc' captured a starving animal and used it in his display "Exposición N°1"

For these acts, the accusation levelled at Vargas is not having respected the rights of the animal
Universal Declaration of Animal Rights
Article 10
a) No animal should be exploited for man's recreation.
b) Exhibitions featuring animals and entertainment shows that use animals are incompatible with the dignity of the animal.

For Mrs. Bermudez, everything that happened and everything that was published in the newspaper and in the blog DID NOT EXIST, but she HAS ALLOWED it to continue in print, and has never taken any LEGAL action to have a rectification published. The only thing she does, two months after the fact, when more than 30 thousand people have mobilized, is make some "clarifications" saying that the dog had escaped – she makes no comment at all on anything else. Nor does she take LEGAL action against the newspaper La Nación.com, nor against the editor of the blog. Why not? Too many people had viewed the dead dog for them to see an article saying that it had escaped? We can all come to our own conclusions.

Fortunately we have photographs of the dog while it was "alive". We all know how it got to the gallery, and we could see what deplorable condition it was in. Far from being treated by a veterinarian, it was humiliated, tied to a wall. If it were not for these photographs, Mrs. Bermudez would have us think that the dog was never in her gallery at all.

What we don't have are photographs of a "dead dog". Without proof, there is no crime. Mrs. Bermudez clings on to this. But she ignores everything else:

1 – that she took no LEGAL action against the media which, if it were true that the dog had escaped, would have committed an act of libel on publishing false information on " very grave" events which took place in her gallery, damaging the gallery's good name.

2 – the abuse which was perpetrated on the dog during his persecution, and having him immobilized tied with a cord to the walls of the Códice Gallery.

In consequence, given that Vargas cannot be legally accused of biocide, because of lack of proof, we now rest on the "moral judgement of the international community" FOR ABUSE and for failing to comply with Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights.

And I say "moral judgement of the international community" because the authorities of Nicaragua, where the events took place, have not applied this CÓDIGO DE DEFENSA Y PROTECCIÓN DE ANIMALES No. 688 (Code of Defense and Protection of Animals" approved on 10th December 1940, which ranks as a Decree of Law, and which in Articles 1 and 2 reads:

Article 1. – The State protects all irrational beings, capable of being useful to man, of benefiting him or entertaining him; and in consequence, will be vigilant, through the Society for the Protection of Animals, to ensure that that they do not suffer torture, damage or unnecessary death.

Aricle 2.- The sanctions contained in the present Law will be applied to every act, omission or negligence which causes or leads to the suffering or unnecessary deathofo any animal, useful and inoffensive, without prejudice to the criminal or civil responsibilities which our laws establish.

Given the lack of follow-through by the authorities who would have had to intervene and who did not (Nicaraguan Justice Ministry), others who think they should not intervene (Ministry of Culture of Costa Rica), the association "Art Impresarios" whose President is Mr. Ronald Zurcher, Vargas' unconditional supporter, and the organizers of the VI Biennale of Visual Arts of the Central American Isthmus, "Mujeres en las Artes" Women in Art", who wash their hands like Pilate;

we, the more than 3.5 million people who have signed the petition to boycott Vargas, "morally sentence him" to :

Not to be permitted to present any kind of artwork in the VI Biennale of Visual Arts of the Central American Isthmus, and at the same time we request all the galleries across the world not to allow him to show there until such time as:


1 – He asks forgiveness for having ill-treated and abused a dog for his artwork, whether he died as a result or not.
2 – He swears that he will never again use living creatures to express his art.

The International Community
Signed:

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