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Experiment: Should This Lamb Live or Die a Colorful Guillotine Death? Artists Let Internet Decide


“That which needs to be done will be dictated to you by art, by your subconscious.”

It's a social experiment that has some in the online community in an uproar. Two German artists have created a multi-colored guillotine in which they plan to sacrifice a sheep, but they're leaving it up to an Internet poll to decide the animal's fate.

Why? The Telegraph reports Iman Rezai and Rouven Materne, students at Berlin University of the Artsbelieve this is an experiment that “represents the current state of democracy” and is a “reflection on our society”. So far, more than 260,000 people had voted with a large majority in favor of the sheep living.

Even so, should the tables turn by the mid-May voting deadline with the public vote against the sheep, the artists plan to go through with the execution, the Telegraph reports. If they do so, some animal rights groups are ready to seek criminal prosecution. Overall, PETA Bernd Hoffman believes this is a stunt to gain publicity, but the artists maintain “That which needs to be done will be dictated to you by art, by your subconscious.” The Toronto Sun also reports the university has distanced itself from the case, just in case:

A spokeswoman for the university also said the two artists had assured the school that their guillotine project was intended as an “artistic provocation” and that they had no plans to kill the lamb.

To add to the the drama, the two have released a YouTube video depicting how the guillotine was made and what's at stake. Watch the footage (Note: Language is German):

The version on YouTube has sparked many comments against the lamb's slaughter. Art Info has other recent examples where artists have used similar tactics before:

Recent history has seen no shortage of artworks that have gotten a rise out of the public through real or imagined acts of animal cruelty (in fact, we recently rounded up some of the finest examples), from the 2007 furor over online photos of the artist Habacuc's performance that supposedly had him starving a dog from the street in a Nicaraguan gallery, to the recent uproar caused by Kansas City artist Amber Hansen when she threatened to display and then slaughter five chickens for a community potluck. At least, however, Rezai and Materne offered their lamb more due process then artist Marco Evaristti offered the goldfish he put in blenders back in 2003, inviting the public to liquify them at will.

How would you vote? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or actually cast your vote here.

[H/T Gawker]

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