13 noviembre 2008

My gratitude

"Costa Rican artist surrounded by controversy with a dog dying as part of his exhibit". This was the title of the news item 4 octubre 2007 in the La Nación Costa Rican daily newspaper.

Thirteen months after the birth of a campaign to gather signatures in protest, I would like to express to all of you my gratitude for the fact that you participated and that you spread the word about the petition. Its success, unprecedented in any Internet activity, is seen in the fact that, with your help, more than 4 million people have expressed their disgust at the acts of a pseudo-artist, carried out with the aid of his accomplice, the Gallery Director, Juanita Bermúdez and every one of her staff members.

Only three days from now, the man who abused the dog in the Códice Gallery in Managua will be ushered into the Museum of National Identity (Honduras) invited by the Organizers of the VI Biennale of Visual Arts of the Central American Isthmus (Women in Art "Leticia de Oyuela"). We must be consoled by the fact that we know we acted correctly in the face of an event which would have “died a natural death” in the archives of the local newspaper.

Although we have not been able to sensitize the patrons nor the organizers, to make them understand why they should not allow this animal abuser to participate in the event, I know the pressure brought to bear to twist their arms has been very strong. Every one of them has earned the image that the world now has of them. In any case, the fact that the organizers were forced to state publicly that "The Association Women in Art "Leticia de Oyuela"and the Organizing Committee of the VI Biennale of Visual Arts of the Central American Isthmus will not consent to, nor permi,t the perpetration of any acts which go against human dignity, nor the exploitation, ill-treatment and abuse of animals as part of the proposed exhibits in the artistic, cultural event" is of itself an implicit admission of the acts perpetrated by their invitee, Vargas. Another point is that no one has been willing to bell the cat and give him his just deserts (a matter of civic maturity which neither the powers that be in Nicaragua, Costa Rica nor Honduras have shown themselves to possess).

The fact that Mr. Rodolfo Kronfle Chambers, one of the jurors who gave Vargas his ‘passport’ to Honduras, wrote to me on 29th October 2007 and said "I respect your right to debate and to argue on this matter. I believe that the world of art must learn lessons from this" is another implicit acknowledgement of Vargas’ acts.

This is what we all wanted, for the world of art to learn a lesson.

Many thanks to you all.
Jaime Sancho

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