The Artless Dog Killer

For the last couple of weeks I have run a ‘quiz’ to see if readers can identify which of 3 posts are true (but weird) news stories and which are hoaxes. Commenting on these posts was, perhaps, a little awkward so I have decided upon a change.

Artless-dog-killer

Instead, I will separate the posts over a few days of the week meaning that today there is a single offering –

Art Gallery Exhibit Is A Killer

Guillermo Vargas, a Costa Rican artist, may have been inspired by some of the recent exhibits at art galleries around the world or the display of Dolly the sheep, the first cloned sheep, after her death.

Guillermo found a starving and sick dog on a street corner in Nicaragua. After paying some children to chase and capture him, he then took the dog to an art gallery in Managua where he tied him up. The poor dog died after a day.

Guillermo then added a plaque, proclaiming, “You are what you read”. Reports say that he then added an incense burner with an ounce of marijuana and an amount of crack cocaine in addition to a collection of photos.

Background music for the exhibit was the Sandista national anthem which was played backwards.

Motive

Local news reports that Guillermo’s motives for such an exhibit were that he wanted to make an artistic tribute to a fellow Nicaraguan burglar, Nativdad Canda, who had been mauled and killed by two rottweilers who were guarding the property he entered with the intention of ransacking.

In response to criticism of his work, Guillermo said, “I won’t say the dog died. The importance to me is the hypocracy of the people where an animal is the focus of attention where people come to see art but not when it’s in the street starving to death. The same thing happened with poor Natividad Canda. The people sympathized with him only after he was dead.”

Organisations representing animal’s rights are appalled but action against Guillermo may not be forthcoming due to lack of funding and the entrenched Hispanic views that animals do not actually have any rights or entitlement to decent welfare.

Sick TRUTH or tasteless HOAX?

What do you think?

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

Comments

  1. You’re not an artist….you are the most stupid person in the world that you know what you dont deserve to live if you kill someone or somethings life!!!! you are nothing!!!!!!

  2. This is an old post Marge – is it back in the news again?

  3. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to find out that this was a hoax.

  4. I just got your welcome message scam thanks! :smile:

    • You’re welcome Aruna.. good to see you on there, though your avatar still isn’t visible here πŸ˜•

      • yeah, i was going to say the same thing… I kept checking A L L D A Y L O N G ……

        Waiting to see the avatar (I did see the eye.. and although I must say that is not really much to go on, at least a small part of the mystery is (or should I say may be) revealed)

        jb

  5. So finally i did it
    I was just being lazy

  6. ha ha you found me!

    • Yes – your picture shows at the bottom of the screen now.. I’m sure it will appear on your comments soon enough :)

  7. yes I think it will take some time to show up

  8. I have already uploaded my pic on myblog it is not getting displayed here
    Pleease dont make me go through it again…I hate filling forms

    • I think you have to enter your site’s URL for MyBlogLog to work.

      Gravatar.com will display a picture and is easy to sign up.. you can do it in less than a minute.

  9. i joined myblog just so that I could put some pic there for Jon

  10. i dont see any avatar

    • What I meant was..

      go to http://www.gravatar.com
      sign up
      upload, or use any picture from the internet,

      After that, said picture will be displayed next to your name on this blog, as long as you use the same email address for both here and grvatar.com

  11. and the group hug of course!

    • We really must get you sorted out with an Avatar Aruna.. too many shadowy faces on these comments.

      Have you got another picture you could use with gravatar.com?

  12. No I meant after making up with Emma

  13. I feel sooo much better now so I think I will go to bed early today

  14. 171

    • oops.. time difference!

      Let me know how many you have before you go to bed.. the day ends here in about 9 hours from now.

  15. Love the sound of it!

  16. Strange.. I have a box missing from mybloglog at the bottom of each page – I guess that must be you?

    Are you entering the same email address when you comment?

  17. I can see it in your about me page

  18. Shame on you, Scammy, making Aruna do all your work for you!

    • Haha… I like to mention the top commentators in a post at the end of each month to show my appreciation – it’s the least I can do for people who are contributing over 170 times in a one month period!

      Unfortunately, I have to work past midnight (GMT) today though so won’t be here when it resets everyone back to zero.

  19. By the way Aruna, can you let me know how many comments you finish today, and the month, with as the count will reset before I get home from work tonight.

  20. Group hug, Scammy and Aruna. lmao :smile:

  21. No worries, Aruna. It was all a silly misunderstanding. I apologize, too! I just couldn’t understand how you could be upset with what I wrote, until Jon explained it the other way! I even emailed some of my donors and sponsors and asked them if it was offensive, and no one seemed to see it! But I changed the blog anyhow because I didn’t want to accidentally upset people. I’m glad you let me know. I would NEVER want to cause that kind of offense. lol. How silly words are!

    Emma

  22. My browser froze up (we’re on gprs out here in the boonies of India), so you might get this comment twice. Feel free to remove the superfluous one, if there is one!

    Well said, Jon. Indeed, I did change the post shortly after Aruna accused me of being racist. I have no intention of causing offense; live in a Tibetan settlement in an Indian village, and love both of those cultures. That is why I’m here. I’m sorry if Aruna thought I was referring to any race of people as “dogs.” I would never, in a million years, dream of doing such a thing. My point really was, just as you said, to say that Yellow Dog has these issues with these types of people, and that I hope to change those issues so that she can become a part of a loving family. And keep in mind that my husband and I are the only Westerners in the area! So, of course, a “loving family” would mean an Indian or Tibetan one.

    Thanks,

    Emma

    • Thanks for bringing clarity to the subject, and for removing the potentially offensive item from your blog. It would be a shame for a misunderstanding to get in the way of a good cause. Keep up the good work there.

      Regarding the behavior of Yellow Dog, there is a good chance that is has to do with the emotion she is picking up from the people that approach her. As you mentioned on your other blog “they pause and glance at me questioningly- they are afraid of dogs, and wonder if Vincent will bite them”. I know you were talking about Vincent there, but it seems that it is a general rule that certain people are afraid of dogs where you live. My dog bristles and growls when someone is nervous around her. It is as though their unease causes her to be suspicious of them. It quickly becomes a self-feeding situation. The one thing that seems to help is to let her know that everything is OK, and try to calm the person that is now getting quite scared.

      I am sure that you probably already know this, but just in case it helps…

      jb

    • Does this mean it’s time for a group hug? πŸ˜†

    • I am sorry Emma 😳
      I realized you hadn’t meant it when you replied immediately to my comment
      My bad sorry again

  23. But Emma I would simply say, he/she is uncomfortable with strangers…why at all bring nationality
    I don’t want this discussion to continue.

    As an animal lover I must say you are doing a wonderful job. I am with you on that.

    • Feel free to email me at the website associated with my blog, and we can discuss this further. I will not respond here, out of respect to Scammy.

      • WOW I missed a hot one (conversation)

        Too bad I’ve been busy as this has all the controversy that I (as a mediator of sorts) like to dispell when given the chance!

        If I may clarify the argument without belaboring the already drawn out argument unnecessarily.

        Emma apparently describes her new dog on her website (I have not checked it out yet) as disliking or being uncomfortable around Indians, Tibetans and other dogs. Reading this, you would assume either that she is referring to Indians and Tibetans as dogs and using the “other dogs” line as a sort of “etc..”. OR You could read this as saying that for some reason (most likely because of abuse suffered at the hands of one or more individuals that happened to be members of those races) the dog is uncomfortable with Indians and Tibetans. AND that the dog happens to be uncomfortable around other dogs. Combining two thoughts like this into one sentence is a very acceptable and common writing technique, as she is merely letting the reader know the types of things that scare the dog.

        If the inference was the former, this is possibly the most unnecessary racist remark I have read in a long time, making it so unlikely that I dismissed it without even a thought. If it is the latter, no racism was intended and this was merely a matter of fact statement.

        The problem is that we can all be quite sensitive when something hits close to home. Aruna (anyone for that matter) is well within her rights to be offended that someone would refer to any race of people as dogs. Whether that was the intention of the statement or not, it is plain to see how it could have been misinterpreted that way. On the other hand, Emma (and anyone keeping a blog for that matter) most likely, as I detailed above, had not a single racist thought in mind when composing that sentence. I myself have a dog, and she gets freaked out by tall people. I have no idea why (*we rescued her and believe she was abused) tall people, but that is who she freaks out at. I am not going to gloss over this if I am talking about her for fear of offending the vertically enhanced people of the world!

        At some point though, I believe that both of you realized the other persons point of view and either one of you could have easily said, “wow, I am sorry that I misunderstood you.” “How can I make this right?”

        I say all this to say that I agree with Scam (Scammy if you prefer, it is just awkward for me to call another guy something so “cutesy”).

        We are all dog lovers here, and the important thing is that dogs get the care they need.

        Hope this helped.

        jb

        • Hi Jon

          I believe Emma may have edited her blog before you read it πŸ˜‰

          As for loving dogs, well my ex-wife was.. oh, no… nevermind

          πŸ˜€

          Scammy.

  • So you mean to say you won’t be offended if i told you my dog barks only at Europeans and other dogs?
    Scam I am sorry.

  • If you didn’t mean it then I better not mention it. But on the other hand our Scammy does not like religious racist comments so he will delete it anyways…I felt offended by the line “indians, tibetans, and some other dogs”

  • Bard of Ely says:

    Some real good was done as a result of this and I received this wonderful comment in my blog at Myspace about the Guillermo ‘art.’

    Vincent’s Left Ear’s Comment:

    “I live in Dharamsala, India, where the people are kind,but often poor, and many street dogs die of disease, injury, or resulting starvation. It is unfortunate in these “third-world” societies that these sweet and loving animals sometimes become too sick and depressed
    to eat, and then starve to death. The locals here don’t know what to do about it- they can barely afford their own healthcare, and many of the people are sick and dying too! And animal aid societies are few
    and far between in countries that are only beginning to provide adequate social services for humans. Two months ago, my husband and I took one of these dogs off the street, and it only cost about $50 (and many long, sleepless nights) to take him from the brink of death by
    starvation and maggot-infested wounds to what he is today- the happy, wonderful, sweetheart that is curled up beside my chair right now. But I have never seen something as horrible as this “artist”! And Vincent,
    the doggy we rescued, was MUCH sicker than the poor animal that this horrible man has now killed for recreation. I am appalled. I spent three weeks FORCING Vincent to eat to stay alive, by using a syringe
    to put food directly down his throat. And everytime he would throw it up, we would start all over again. And it is sickening that this “artist” (a Costa Rican, no less, and I’ve spent alot of time in Costa Rica- it is a beautiful country that prides itself on its
    eco-diversity) and his patrons allowed this to happen. Today, in response to seeing this monstrosity of “art,” my husband and I went out and rescued another street doggy from certain death from mange and infection. We’ve seen her at the bus station, and knew that she needed medical treatment, so that is what we did- we went to the pharmacy and bought the necessary supplies and administered them ourselves. And you would not believe how many smiles and thanks we got from the locals who watched us help her.

    We believe that it is important to spread happiness and peace, and to allow others to see us do good deeds. It improves our mood. It improves the mood of the bystanders. And it improves our world. Don’t let this horrible “artist” turn you into someone like him. Don’t wish awful experiences on him and the others who allowed this to happen. Sign the petition, yes. He and his supporters should know that there are moral and ethical people out there who disapprove! Hit him in the pocketbook and the ego, and make his “art” un-fashionable and worthless. And then use your outrage to make a positive difference in the lives of other animals and people of third-world nations. Fundraise, donate, or, if you are inclined, get out there and make a difference first-hand by setting up your OWN animal aid society in a third world country. That is what my husband and I have decided to do.

    We are beginning the planning processes of organizing an animal aid society here in Dharamsala to provide on-street medical care, catch-and-release spay and neuter services, a small dog shelter for sick and aggressive animals, and public information campaigns for the doggies of Dharamsala.

    See the pictures of the Dharamsala doggies here:
    http://vincents-left-ear.blogspot.com/

    In solidarity for our furry friends,

    Eliza Mae Marlie”

    • Coincidentally, Eliza/Emma/? just found this site too.

      Her site is definitely worth a look if you like dogs and stories of hope.

  • Good call, Scammy. I believe that Aruna is referring to something on my own blog, not posted on yours.

    • Aaaah, that would explain it then.

      Aruna is a good friend of mine, and a loyal visitor and commentator here. That said, I also respect your entitlement to have your own opinion.

      Therefore, I suggest that future comments, on this site, leave out anything that could cause offence to other visitors.

      Thanks.

  • Okay, I’ve lost the plot because I can’t see where the race undertones started πŸ˜•

    Can I remind everyone that this post is about a dog that may, or may not, have died as an art exhibit.

    I prefer to leave race and religion out of things for the most part, unless relevant to the post in question, as they can be contentious issues on a personal level for other commentators.

  • No, I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t. I would say, “Wow, that’s strange. I wonder why she feels that way and what I can do to encourage her to change?” It would be one thing if I had encouraged this behavior and was proud of it. It is quite another to recognize and try to change it. Are you offended by the statement, “David Duke does not like black people?” I am offended by his beliefs, but not the statement itself.

  • The line “Indians, Tibetans, and some other dogs,” is just an unfortunate fact. She tries to attack every Indian she comes across, including children. She doesn’t like most Tibetans, either. I didn’t program her that way, and I would love to unprogram her. That is why I said she needed to be rehabilitated in a neutral environment. I assume you don’t find the “other dogs” comment offensive as well?

    now might be a good time to ask yourself why you found these comments offensive at all.

  • And by the way, Love you Bard!

  • Nagarjuna is a Buddhist philosopher, and I’ll be glad to avoid my potty mouth for you, Scammy!

    • Being the information junkie I am, you have me intrigued so I’m going to have to read more

      • Awesome! When you start to get really interested, come to Dharamsala, and study it with the Tibetan Government in Exile. You can even go to teaching by His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, and hear him go on and on about it, though I doubt half the audience has any clue what he’s talking about, it’s so complex. Every day at the Tibetan Library there are free teachings on various aspects of “emptiness.” It’s absolutely fascinating.

  • Aruna, I’m confused. Exactly to what “racist comment” are you referring?

  • F**k the Matrix (am I allowed to use that word on here?… no, not “matrix,” but “f**k”). I have been spending too much time at lectures by Buddhist high lamas, and they have warped my brain into believing that “nothing exists from its own side.” The Wachowski Brothers have got nothing on Nagarjuna…

    • I’d prefer it if the language wasn’t quite so blatant so I edited it slightly – people of all ages could see it.

      Excuse my ignorance, but is Nagarjuna a place?

  • Thanks Scammy (may I call you Scammy?)

    I certainly hope, for the sake of all humanity, that it was a hoax. And perhaps we may never know. I think many of us are downright tired of hearing about how cruel humanity can be… but reality is what it is, if we believe that there’s a “reality” at all.

    • You can call me whatever you want (within reason).

      I think I sense a Matrix-esque kind of conversation about reality coming on here… πŸ˜€

    • Emma, I am an animal lover like you and what you are doing is praiseworthy.But your racist comment is in bad taste…to love animals you don’t have to hate humans.

  • If it is a hoax, it’s brilliant. If it’s not a hoax, it’s just sad. Controversy can always be created by pitting humane compassion against reality. Just look at the daily news! The world, as we know it, does not seem “just,” and it is a constant battle to come to terms and find some peace with that. As a statement, I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Vargas’s “art.” But if he truly did tie that poor animal up and refuse it treatment, I cannot agree with his actions. To be an artist worthy of my respect and admiration, he would’ve had to find a way to make such a statement WITHOUT unnecessarily harming another living being. That, to me, would be art. Any one of us, with a little cruelty and imagination, can create controversy. And any one of us can call it “art.” (Haven’t you seen the movie “Seven”?) But it takes a real human with kindness and compassion to make such a statement without extorting another sentient being.

    • I just had a look at your site and see that you are quite the dog lover and rescuer yourself. I also like your sentiments on resisting gainful employment :)

      I still don’t know the truth about this story but it would seem that Mr Vargas himself is now suggesting that the dog was not harmed and that it was a statement and a hoax.

  • Bard of Ely says:

    Yes, here’s the link and it appears to me that all the sites online apart from this one are blogs, forums or animal rights activists with no mainstream or alternative news covering the story:

    myspace.com/gvargas

    • But how do we know that MySpace profile is real and not a hoax itself?

      The second of the two commentators doesn’t seem convinced that it is the real Vargas.

      • Bard of Ely says:

        I don’t see that it makes much difference whether it’s a hoax site or not – the main point I have picked up on is that if you search online it is ONLY animal rights people, blogs and forums that are carrying this story and the bulk of the info is coming from the same sources and getting passed along, just like a good Internet hoax would be intended to work! I posted on the sites that were removed from Myspace that Guillermo was clearly very clever at pushing buttons in people and this may be what the whole thing is about! The other band site had a large gallery of pics of dogs, cats and kittens and some suggesting the kittens were dead (one had a foot above kittens) to obviously get the reaction of are all these animals going to be tortured too? This was contrasted with many looking well cared for and the musicians pic and image suggested a shock-rocker Goth industrial act.

        If as the current Guillermo is saying the art is the reaction of the people it does, indeed, show a lot – namely that many people are reacting in a violent eye-for-an-eye or worse revengeful way. Meanwhile millions of animals and people are dying or suffering extreme abuse and they are not being commented on.

        The reactions reminded me of why I left the AntiNazi League many many years back after hearing a local leader of the group saying on a stage that “We need to kill this Nazi scum…” and I thought that he and those who applauded this were no different to those they were campaigning against!

        • You raise some interesting points

          – If this was a PR stunt by Guillermo to raise his profile then it certainly worked.

          – it shows that controversial stories work virally online, just in the same way that email hoaxes propogate.

          – people are sheep, blindly reacting to situations without bothering to find the ‘truth’.

          – such hoaxes, as per the ones about missing children, distract from those animals that really do need our help.

          – the world is full of hypocrites!

          As for the original source of my post, I took it from something Jon emailed me. Hopefully he can shed some light on how he originally came across it.

        • Bard of Ely says:

          I was mailed the story and pics which everyone has now seen by a trusted animal rights campaigner friend and was shocked and saddened by the news so I blogged about it. I have since given a lot of thought to the matter and also posted that even if Guillermo was guilty as people believe he is nevertheless an artist because he has visually created a display which has communicated to thousands and made people think as well as pushing their buttons to create a response – things which an artist seeks to do! That people don’t like what he has done does not mean he is not an artist as many state. It also caused me to admit that I don’t give a lot of thought to Nicaragua and didn’t actually know that much about it. I did some research and learned that it is one of the poorest countries and that Managua (where the dog was said to be from) has over 1,000,000 residents. This meant to me that the amount of suffering to animals and humans in the country and that city must be very large indeed, and that this story and his ‘art’ had raised awareness of Nicaragua to the rest of the world! There is good and bad in this whatever the truth is!

        • That’s a good point about Nicaragua. It’s a country I’ve mentioned in another blog about pirates on several occassions but, beyond that, I am totally ignorant.

          I certainly didn’t realise the economic situation there.

          You are right that it is art as it has provoked an emotional response, though it’s lack of taste (if true) may make others disagree on that point.

        • Bard of Ely says:

          Marilyn Manson is a very successful artist although many people have complained about what he does. The Sex Pistols and the original punk rock movement did the same thing – they created a musical art form by disturbing people who wanted them banned. Manson said somewhere that he is a reflection of America, or words to that effect, and surely this is what an artist who works with shock and horror is doing – they are commenting on what they see in the world around them. This is what good journalists should also be doing!

        • Courting controversy is always a good means of self promotion if some thought is put into it.

          Personally, I was a great fan of The Sex Pistols when I was a teenager, primarily because they went against the Establishment.

  • I think the guesses were split fairly evenly between those who thought this post was true and those who thought it was a hoax.

    Unfortunately, it is absolutely true. The artist, who I can only describe as sick, let the dog die in the name of ‘art’ :(

    • Scam, thanks for posting this topic! Wanted to wait until everyone had a chance to guess before stopping by and dropping a line.

      Also, I have been a bit under the weather as well. Didn’t really do ANYTHING yesterday, barely dragged myself to work today! oh well, life goes on! :)

      I wanted to mention to any readers that are interested, that the blog where I read this offers a link to sign a petition to have this man barred from the art festival that he is trying to enter this “piece” in. The event is called “Bienal Centroamericana Honduras 2008”

      If you click here, you can read more about it and follow their links to sign the petition. Please be warned though, if you are a dog lover or easily offended, the content is not for the light of heart. Also, I cannot vouch for the “security” of the links or the privacy of the online petition. It does ask for an email and I am not sure how else they will use that information. It does seem pretty legit though.

      Anyway, thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention, and sorry to hear that your traffic was slow yesterday.

      Enjoy your day off πŸ˜€

      jb

    • Bard of Ely says:

      Guillermo has now said at Myspace that what he did was a hoax and that the dog was only tied up for 30 minutes to get the photos. He claims that his art was getting the reaction from the public!

  • A dead dog is not art. This post is a wind up.

  • Lucky you!

  • A very good morning to you!It is Monday afternoon here Scam, work is less on Mondays for me.So I thought I’ll say hi!

  • This must be true…animal torture plus a crazy eccentric artist, sounds real

    • Good morning Aruna. I will give the answer a bit later in order to allow others to comment.

      (For some reason the number of visitors to the site was extremely low yesterday – I guess it was down again while I was at work :( )

  • Seeing as traffic ‘died’ yesterday I think I will wait a little longer before revealing the truth about this post..

  • The Hispanic community doesn’t have much respect for animals so I fear this may be true :(

  • I think I came across something like this in the news so I would guess this particular story is true

  • I say hoax because it’s just too sick to be true.

  • If this is true then the artist is one sick puppy.

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