Volume 96, Issue 61
Friday, January 17, 2003

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I get the cow

To the Editor:

You will no doubt get letters from people complaining that art has become too elitist and irrelevant – but not from me. Those people just don't get it, but, I do.

I was pleasantly surprised when a fine arts student used shock to draw our attention to the issue of "animal-rights" by staging an impromptu showing of his unique work (a severed cow head) on the Concrete Beach.

By generating discussion, we become aware of significant social issues that would otherwise go unnoticed. I am always touched when a tortured artist uses shock to facilitate change in society.

I am thankful there are individuals who rage against conformity. Last year, when another fine arts student used shock to draw attention to the issue of materialism – by sleeping in a Plexiglas box for three days – I felt that the Western community could not possibly resist the influence that these artists were generating.

Artists who choose more nebulous and less significant themes like love, beauty, strength or perseverance do not deserve our respect or patronage. After all, art that relies on talent, intellect, effort or originality is highly overrated in any event. It is also not progressive.

Like I said, I get it.

Jeff Gardiner
Western Alumnus

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