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Beyond the Lone Islands

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Sweetlove and Cloning

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Picking up where I left off yesterday

Today’s paper offered another interview with Belgian artist William Sweetlove, creator of the sculptures ‘Cloned Frogs on Gala Dress’ and three giant dogs, which were vandalized last weekend in connection with an outdoors exhibition in our town.

It turns out that Sweetlove (I can’t get over that name!) really claims to be all PRO cloning (not only of sculptures). My eyes kept getting wider and wider as I read on:

WS: “With global warming there will no longer be enough grass for all cows. My solution is that we create a really big breed of dog and clone that, as food for the cows.”

“So cows should eat dogs?”

WS: “Yes, that is my message. But of course you could clone other animals as well, fish or frogs. Or vegetables if you wish. And you could make other animals smaller so that they don’t need so much food. Like  elephants and giraffes the size of chickens.”

“Don’t you like dogs?”

WS: “I love dogs! I have one myself, a big dog named Wizzy. But a dog is really just an animal like any other.”

Does it have to be dogs?”

WS: “The good thing about dogs is that they are omnivores, they’ll eat anything. But you could use other animals as well. Goats for example.”

The sceptical reporter also checked with Sweetlove’s representative in Sweden:

His message is that cows should eat dogs in the future. Is he having us on?”

No, he is being serious.” 

I also learn that the sculptures are made of plastic. According to the artist, because he considers this to be recyclable material.


Another article in the web edition of the paper says that the sculptures will not be put back in the park, but in the yard in front of our temporary library and theatre. There are gates to that yard which can be locked at night, so that sounds like a good decision. (Well – better than the park.)

The same article informs me that we’re stuck with the froggy dress (i.e. the town bought that one) but the dogs are just here for the festival. The dress might be put indoors after the exhibit, even if that was not the original intention.

I have to say I’ll be glad to lose those giant dogs. I found them repulsive to begin with; and after reading about the artist’s views on cloning, even more so. The dress sculpture I still find more interesting. I would definitely not like it back in the park, though, or in an open square in the town centre – it’s much too RED. Actually I think it’s enough to have seen it once. One is not likely to forget it. If we have to keep it I think the foyer of the art museum is probably the best place for it.


The official opening of the sculpture festival is tomorrow afternoon. Whether I’ll attend depends on the weather. This afternoon we had thunderstorm and torrential rain lasting for hours… The sculptures will be there for the summer. I intend to take photos of them all in due turn, but not all tomorrow. 


MadSnapper said...

I can't wait to see the new ones. If i were there and read this about the artist, I might be one of the ones knocking over his art. OR knocking him over. this is just about the craziest thing I have read in a long time. He must think he can think better than God. I like the way God made all His creatures and don't think it should be MESSED with by crazy people. thanks for reporting, your blog gets more interesting daily. I am still shocked on this one.

Graham Edwards said...

I have to say that I can't believe that WS isn't having us on. You could grow all the dogs you like but cows are incapable of eating meat anyway. If he'd been suggesting we bred giant dogs for humans to eat that would be another matter (if just as stupid). No. WS is just being very silly.

Ginny Hartzler said...

This is just too weird. The man is crazy! I know most great artists are all just a BIT crazy, but really!! I do not believe the interview or Sweetwater now! Really, I think they are all having a big joke on everyone. I can't wait to see how it turns out, I do think it will be revealed to be a big performance art joke. Maybe at the opening. Can't wait to see the rest, in the meantime keep your eyes on the papers!!

Ginny Hartzler said...

Oops! I said Sweetwater but meant Sweetlove!

DawnTreader said...

GB, I tend to agree with you. I find it very hard to believe that Sweetlove is being completely 'serious'. It did strike me too that while dogs are omnivorous, cows are not. (Which anyone who uses the word omnivorous is likely to know.)

I find it more likely that the artist claims to hold his absurd view because that brings him and his works attention.

But who knows where the line goes between claiming to hold a certain idea and really 'believing' in it?

Ginny, I doubt that the vandalism was an intended part of the show, though. There is a serious debate going on in the background about how much money is being spent on sculptures vs other things. We all want our town to be beautiful and interesting - but the views on how to accomplish that varies a bit between the "cultural elite" and the average man-on-the-street. Some of our sculptures we like. Some we grow used to. Others keep aggravating us because we know they cost an awful lot of money which most people think could have been better spent; or because we think they should be in a different place.


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