Artist Damien Hirst has killed 9,000 butterflies in the name of art. The artist has drawn plenty of negative criticism for his use of dead animals in his past work, and his newest exhibit is no different. According to reports, the artist recently placed live butterflies in two windowless rooms and the exhibit ended up killing 9,000 of the creatures.
According to the Telegraph:
“Visitors to the exhibit at the Tate Modern in London observed the insects close-up as they flew, rested, and fed on bowls of fruit.
“But whilst the work, In and Out of Love, was praised by many art critics when it featured in the gallery’s Hirst retrospective earlier this year, it has now landed the artist in a row with the RSPCA.”
At it turns out, the 23 week long exhibit became a bloody final resting place for the butterflies who were trampled on and brushed off of visitors clothing when they landed on the exhibit’s visitors. Every single week, at least 400 new butterflies were added to the exhibit to replace the dead insects
A member for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) proclaimed
“In this so-called ‘art exhibition’, butterflies are forced to exist in the artificial environment of a closed room for their entire lives.
“There would be national outcry if the exhibition involved any other animal, such as a dog. Just because it is butterflies, that does not mean they do not deserve to be treated with kindness.”
Butterflies used came from the Own and Heliconius species, which typically live for up to nine months instead of the hours or days they survived as part of the exhibit.
According to the description for “In and Out of Love”:
“The themes of life and death as well as beauty and horror are highlighted, dualities that are prevalent in much of the artist’s work”.
In what might be the dumbest excuse for its actions, Tate reps claim:
“The butterflies used in this [Hirst] work were all sourced from reputable UK butterfly houses and were selected from varieties known to thrive in the conditions created.
“The butterflies lived out the final stage of their natural life cycle inside this room. Approximately 400 butterflies were introduced to the exhibition over the course of each week, with many enjoying longer lifespans than in the wild due to the high quality of this environment.”
What do you think of Damien Hirst’s death filled exhibits?