Guillermo Vargas Habacuc

I'm not going to link to the photos / video of artist Habacuc's work. If you want to see a dog starving to death as an art installation, you can search on the name. Proposal for funding: An art installation: Guillermo Vargas Habacuc comes to my house & we tie him to a tree out back without food or water. My dogs & I watch from the deck as he starves to death. They bark at him & I jeer, but soon we grow bored & he dies in loneliness & terror. Certainly the authorities would have no objections since this would be an art installation. Note: Looking around a bit more, I see that the artist has issued a series of statements defending his work. It's hard to know what to make of them, but even the most recent in which he says he is trying to call attention to the plight of stray dogs makes no logical, aesthetic, or moral sense. Why not a street urchin with AIDS? Why not a torture victim? You want to call attention to the plight of stray dogs in Costa Rica? Go rescue one, provide veterinary care, and if it is "going to die anyway," comfort it as you have it put down. Photograph & videotape tape the process & show that work in the gallery. Any real art -- even the ugliest & most painful -- must spring from some source of compassion; otherwise, it is merely egotism, voyeurism, exploitation, sensationalism, stupidity in various mixtures & combinations. "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal" (1 Corinthians 13:1).

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

13 thoughts on “Guillermo Vargas Habacuc”

  1. At the beginning, Vargas declared he called the dog “Natividad” because he wanted to pay a tribute to a friend of his who was also called Natividad, who trespassed the fence of a factory at night in order to steal from it and was attacked by two rottweilers that were guarding the place. The man died, and so he thought it would be a nice gesture to let the dog starve to death… When the petition made by Mr. Jaime Sancho reached over a million signatures worldwide he begun to change his statements a bit… Now he is even saying he did it to bring attention to the issue of stray dogs.

  2. What an obscenity. I haven’t the words; but I do think of your poem — your great poem — about the starving dog left by your neighbor.


    Truths approach
    and the lessons
    ever-repeated like deer
    becoming conscious

    how we have stepped
    actually out
    of the world
    at one time inside it

    what can be traveled
    behind the things
    the animal or the plant

    who we’ve been
    growing between
    violence and dreaming.

  4. i would be interested to hear what you have to say about the current media feed on Aliza Shvarts’ “piece” at Yale.

    i remain a dog, human, plant and mineral enthusiast. and art. the dog “piece” is despicable and unforgivable, but where and how do “we” draw the line? and can that line be drawn with bio-matter?

  5. Madame, I hadn’t know about the Shvarts piece. I’m not sure where we draw the line, but I know we do draw lines. It is the act of drawing lines that makes us human. Shvarts work is disgusting because ultimately it is self-aggrandizing & not really about whatever “issues” she says she’s addressing, same as the dog torturer, but at least she is only harming herself. Later: There appears to be some doubt that the Shvarts piece actually exists.

  6. Starve this sick bastard. Artist my arse. He simply starves attention. What an inept and inferior turd. Convinces me even more that the human race is ultimately doomed due to arseholes like him.

  7. WhatI have a hard time understanding is why no one attending the exhibition just untied the poor dog and got him out of there. Most guards I’ve seen at art galleries don’t pose that big a threat, and there seem to be many strong, young Nicaraguans in exhibition photos that could’ve taken some action. They could’ve even called it art.

  8. What has this world come to? Why is it humans cannot respect animals? This scenarios breaks my heart, it angers my soul, it makes me weep tears of sadness, frustration and desperation. I looked at the photos and all I wanted to do was hold that little dog in my arms. I am not a violent person – I would just spit on this pathetic excuse for the man, and I would spit on anyone who stood and looked at that poor, miserable, defenseless dog. Shame on everyone involved.

  9. At least the poor dogs that are homeless and mongrels have the opportunity to scrounge for food at their own free will. Your are a sick w*nker Guillermo Vargas and I hope you rot in whatever hell you end up in. Or get eaten alive by stray dogs!!

  10. Pathetic attempt to pass of satistic crutely as art. True talent does not need to prey on the weakness of other creatures. This talentless loser should be in prison where he belongs.

  11. Guillermo Vargas is a pathetic coward trying to play God over defenseless creatures and passing it off as “art.” A talentless HACK who resorts to evil and maniacal measures to obtain his 15 minutes of fame. Lets hope his karma is a true bitch!

  12. What is this world coming to for people to want to see this absolute act of pure evil………..the artist is bad enough to want to display such a heart breaking scene but the members of the public that have been viewing it are just as much to blame and are just as responsible for this poor creatures life that has ended by pure torture.
    The art council, government and the rescue centers ..why are you not doing anything…..if i were to keep a starving dog in my house, i would be prosecuted but if i call it art is that ok???????? god this makes me soooo angry he is an excuse for a human being and like many of you i hope his karma is a painful and as public as he has done to this defenseless creature……as some one from a psychological background animal torture is a true indication of psychopathy……..possibly a history of child abuse…….is any one going to asses this very sick person……………whats next a baby……..oh but of course if it was a human then that would be intentional neglect…..murder not art…..why do we insist on putting animals lives far below humans in respect when are we going to learn………….

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