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Mathaf Museum of Modern Art and artistic Animal Cruelty..

I don’t really get what really excites some of us when it comes to watching animals suffer. I mean technically speaking, I do get it. Mental disease does exist and it’s not easy to admit your own disease when we’re still shaming those who suffer from it yet there’s no shame in being mentally ill UNLESS YOU DENY IT AND REFUSE TO FIX IT. But let’s step back and look at the full picture. Why would you endorse animal cruelty especially when that kind of endorsement suggests that it’s OK to abuse animals whether for entertainment, art or any other name associated with recreation.

We were a bit concerned with that when we saw the live and shocking performance of Ahmed Al Dousary on Arabs’ Got Talent almost a month ago. Till this day, we haven’t received an official apology or statement regarding the obvious act of animal abuse endorsed on the show. I honestly set up my mind on the one fact that whoever runs this establishment has zero ounce of dignity and respect to all forms of life so an apology is my last concern: they need to be treated. Again, mental disease does exist and there are many ways to help for those who seek it (but lack of money is more important than lack of sense displayed in pride of being ethically poor).

Yesterday, I was informed by my good friends that there has been yet another endorsement of animal abuse in the Middle East. This time, it took place in Qatar. Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art is now endorsing animal cruelty and abuse in the name of art by a man named Adel Abdessemed. Googling this man’s name brought up some pretty interesting theories as well. This was not the first time this kind of crap goes public and many voiced out their concerns regarding this kind of horrible abuse. Mr. Abdessemed’s series of video loops of animals being burnt alive and bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer were definitely a hit with art enthusiasts. How freakin’ lovely. He already got his fine exposure in David Zwirner Gallery and is now gracing us poor ignorant Arabs with his divine art.

This is a sample of his work:

I’m sure you find animal abuse very artistic and entertaining.

Because killing animals is very artistic.

Because killing animals is very artistic.

This is not the first time his pieces spark controversy. But reading through that post made me realize that even in art, some douchebag has to come up with a brilliant theory justifying those kinds of shameful practices. I quote:

I understand the conviction and compassion aroused by Abdessemed. The work is exploitive and intense. I hate cruelty to animals. Still, I did come away from the Abdessemed piece knowing more than ever that I don’t believe in certainty, that even though the work wasn’t good, I was snagged by the paradox it raised about what kills what. Still, two of the best comments in the Facebook thread came from artist Matthew Weinstein, who is very certain about his position against cruelty to animals. First he made a good comparison: “I’m having my work made by Indonesian children who work 16 hours a day and get paid $10.00 a month. I’m doing it as an act of controversy to make people think about the unjust nature of the world economy. Thumbs up or down?” Of course, I’d say thumbs down, but just as quickly I thought about how the artist Santiago Sierra paid Mexican workers to do things like get tattoos on their backs or to hold up cement walls. Regardless, another Weinstein comment to someone may say it all: “Go cut the paws off a kitten.”

Mr. Weinstein here claims that exploiting children for money and animal cruelty displayed by Mr. Abdessemed is “an act of controversy to make people think about the unjust nature of the world.” Thumbs up or down? Well, how about a middle finger? WAIT!! How about both? 😀

I get it. You want to make a statement. You want people to “wake up”. Sure. Nice. FAHKING BRILLIANT. But how about making a statement that does not include making money out of the misery of other creatures whether human or not? How about asking someone to bash your head with a sledgehammer while pretending to be a horse or a goat or whatever the fuck you want that creature to be? How about getting paid $10.00 a month for a year and documenting your experience? Ever heard of Christine Chubbuck? Let me enlighten you: you might not want to blow your brains out on live TV but goddamn it: have some dignity when you want to state your honest opinion about something instead of subjecting others to the same exact shit you want gone from the face of this planet.

I quote the wonderful Christine Chubbuck’s last message to the goddamn world:

“In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in ‘blood and guts’, and in living color, you are going to see another first—attempted suicide.”

Mrs. Chubbuck: I hereby dub thee my personal hero. May your wonderful soul be flying in heaven where all those poor and unfortunate souls being exploited in the name of art, entertainment and higher ratings are definitely having a much MUCH better time.

THIS IS NOT ART.

art1

THIS IS NOT ART.

art2

THIS IS NOT ART.

art3

And this will DEFINITELY not pass without publicly shaming those in charge. Shame on YOU, Adel. Shame on YOU, Mathaf. And shame on everyone associated with this. And also.. shame on every “art” enthusiast who finds this type of SHIT artistic and acceptable. I may not be an art graduate but art is not about subjecting any creature to any kind of pain or abuse whether mental or physical. ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO HAVE NO SAY IN WHAT IS BEING SUBJECTED TO THEM OR NO MEANS TO STOP IT.

Please sign this petition and stop those sick practices from infesting our region. WE DO NOT NEED MORE VIOLENCE IN THE NAME OF ANYTHING ANYMORE IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

Related links:

Stop Adel Abdessemed’s Exhibition in Mathaf petition

Facebook page: Stop Adel Abdessemed and Mathaf’s Animal Cruelty

Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art on Twitter

Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art on Facebook

And hey: you might as well want to send their director Mr. Abdellah Karroum a little email saying hello at abdellah.karroum@gmail.com

Good luck.

Side note: here’s another instance of animal abuse as “art”:

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Arabs’ Got Talent and animal abuse

A talent show that hosts a bunch of people to prove that they probably have something to achieve in life is not my cup of tea. Whether you sing, dance or juggle a few balls is totally up to you but what I find deeply disturbing is the fact that a TV show with millions of viewers went an extra notch this week. I’m not sure whether Arabs’ Got Talent is lacking views or talents but this week, they chose to bring a mentally deranged man to “entertain” everyone.
32 year old Ahmed Al Dousary from Riyadh claimed that he would perform a “military show” -according to him-.

The VERY talented Mr. Ahmed.

The VERY talented Mr. Ahmed.

I watched the clearly suspicious man proceed with chewing glass and lit charcoal and nothing was wrong with that other than the fact that someone would willingly do that. The judges were between shocked and disturbed but still managed to watch the man waiting; for his next step. The man moves on to another container and there was a scorpion in it. I wasn’t really expecting him to do much with that scorpion as one of the judges jokingly told him to salt it. The man then proceeds to eat the scorpion! The female judge was clearly disturbed even more and opted to look away. The third judge just kept making facial gestures and the man went on. Watching that was a bit shocking since I’ve watched many people mess around with scorpions but NOT eat one.

The peak moment was when the lunatic grabbed a small snake, bit its head off and spit it then skinned it with his teeth! In the video above, you’ll miss the “biting the head off” part but not the skinning.

No comment. Really.

No comment. Really.

The female judge buzzed him out while the other judges found it a bit amusing and so they went on with playing around on stage daring each other to “touch” the other snakes or even eat one. Not only that, but they BOTH gave him their blessings and considered this horrible audition a talent!

I am not sure who the hell is responsible of running this show but I’m quite sure of the following:

  1. In order for this sick, mentally deranged individual to perform his audition, he must have practiced on other living creatures. So, I can safely assume that he gobbled a few more scorpions and snakes during the week prior to his “awesome” audition.
  2. In order for this sick, mentally deranged individual to perform his audition, the producers and judges must have had an idea about the kind of sick shit he’s about to perform especially that one of those creatures is deadly and could have possibly run loose around the studio putting the lives of people in danger. I’m also safely assuming that there was some kind of preparation as THEY PROBABLY SHOULD BE PREPARED TO THIS.
  3. THIS.. is ANIMAL ABUSE.

When a TV show with millions of viewers ALLOWS such a sick audition to be aired AND allow the contestant to move on to the next stage while denying someone with a shitty voice to do so just because “this is entertainment”, I wouldn’t be surprised if more kids started practicing on stray cats and dogs to get their 15 minutes of fame.

Get your 15 minutes of fame, y'all! Set a kitty on fire!

Get your 15 minutes of fame, y’all! Set a kitty on fire!

It is totally irresponsible of the show producers and the TV channel to air such an episode and not consider the consequences. The man is clearly mentally disturbed and this is a green light. Allowing a man to kill animals on the stage for entertainment is not fun nor is it a way to spark controversy. Congratulations, Arabs’ Got Talent: You have managed to create a social media buzz and higher ratings but morally speaking: you have lost ALL my respect and the respect of others who found that episode extremely disturbing. Not only did you allow animal abuse on your stage KNOWING it will occur, but you also: aired the episode, none of your judges bothered to address this clear violation and they also gave him their blessings.

If we can allow this man to abuse animals, I think everyone should be allowed to abuse humans equally. This season we chew on scorpions and snakes, the next season we chew on human hearts and kidneys after gutting a human being on stage for entertainment and high ratings.

Shame on Arabs’ Got Talent, shame on MBC Group, shame on Nasser Algassabi, shame on Ahmed Helmy, shame on Najwa Karam and shame on whoever finds this horrible instance of major animal abuse entertaining.

God gave us a voice to speak out against injustice. I’m utilizing mine to stand up for animals no matter how small or insignificant they may be to a whole lot. If you care enough to make this world a better place, start by defending those who don’t have a voice.

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9/10/2103 – UPDATE: we received a response from one of the marvelous judges: please read here.

9/10/2103 – UPDATE: another response from Mr. Ali Jaber: here.

12/10/2013 – UPDATE: Contestant at question speaks out through Twitter here.

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