The Guggenheim just yanked three animal-related artworks after receiving threats

Angelo Anderson
September 26, 2017

The Guggenheim Museum in NY has pulled three exhibits featuring animals after receiving "explicit and repeated threats of violence".

But the museum faced massive public backlash, in particular for Sun Yuan and Peng Yu's work Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other, which features a video of four sets of pit bull dogs trying to charge at each other. The third piece was going to show a boar and sow mating, stamped with the gibberish and nonsensical English words, according to the New York Times.

The museum now said exhibiting the controversial artwork poses a safety threat.

"Explicit and repeated threats of violence have made our decision necessary", the museum said in a statement.

"As an arts institution committed to presenting a multiplicity of voices, we are dismayed that we must withhold works of art", the museum's statement continued. "People who find entertainment in watching animals try to fight each other are sick individuals whose twisted whims the Guggenheim should refuse to cater to", PETA President Ingrid Newkirk wrote.

In another piece, that was thankfully removed, live animals, including reptiles, amphibians, and insects would be trapped in a glass enclosure for attendee viewing.


The "Theater of the World, 1993" installation featuring insects and reptiles has been pulled from the Guggenheim show.

Three controversial pieces at the Guggenheim, all part of a larger exhibit due to open October 6, have been pulled. On Thursday, the museum issued a statement defending the works as "intentionally challenging" and urged viewers to consider the artists' intentions and the cultural context behind the show.

"Contrary to some reports, no fighting occurred in the original performance", it added.

It said: "Such treadmills are typical of brutal dog fighting training regimens, and the mere positioning of animals to face each other and encourage aggression often meets the definition of illegal dog fighting in most states".

A petition condemning the exhibit had over 550,000 signatures by the time the Guggenheim chose to pull the works and accused the institution of "several distinct instances of unmistakable cruelty against animals in the name of art".

Criticism of the show grew quickly online, on social media and on animal-rights websites, with the initial focus on "Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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