Bloody Good Show? Friends of Animals’ Activists Question the Artist’s ‘Animal-Spirit-Machine’

Bloody Good Show? Friends of Animals’ Activists Question the Artist’s ‘Animal-Spirit-Machine’

For Immediate Release: 20 June 2007 Hartford, Conn. ““ For the next three weeks (Thu. 21 June ““ Sun. 15 July), Real Art Ways, a studio in Hartford, will host “Animal-Spirit-Machine” by artist Jordan Eagles, whose medium of choice is mammal blood, obtained from slaughterhouses. Eagles does not personally kill the animals whose blood becomes red orbs and spinning splashes over canvases. And according to the gallery's website, the artist's use of plasma “celebrates the material rebirth process that the body-spirit undergoes once life, as we know it, has ceased.” But this misses major questions: The animals drained of this blood never consented to the celebration derived from their untimely deaths. Jordan states that the work is “offering the viewer space for a visceral and primal response.”

What of a sensitive, thoughtful response? Would the blood of humans who met untimely, violent deaths be welcomed into a local art gallery? Would that not raise questions about respect and exploitation, and human responsibility to avoid spilling blood unnecessarily? On the Real Art Ways website, Eagles describes the animals' blood as “the fluid of life.” Absent from the scene is any discussion of how the fluid was taken from an act that took that very life away, or any challenge to the business of processing living flesh into items that entertain people — whether on dinner tables or the walls of galleries. Friends of Animals wrote to Jordan Eagles to open such a discussion. Eagles promptly responded, rejecting the idea that the work is at all disrespectful. And this is not shocking. For Jordan Eagles, like most people, consumes other animals. Everyone at Friends of Animals once did the same. We have grown and changed, and experienced rebirth of our own bodies and spirits. We challenge Jordan Eagles and those who appreciate art to also appreciate life in a new way: consider a palette of peace. The “Animal-Spirit-Machine” will appear at Real Art Ways Gallery, 56 Arbor St., Hartford, Connecticut. The contact information for Jordan Eagles is public: jordan@jordaneagles.com or 917.656.2535. Friends of Animals, founded in 1957 and headquartered in Darien, Connecticut, is a global leader in animal rights advocacy. Our vegan cookbook, Dining With Friends: The Art of North American Vegan Cuisine, offers suggestions for life-affirming cuisine, artfully presented.

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