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After a wave of public backlash, the Guggenheim Museum recently canceled two exhibits that pitted reptiles against each other and glorified dogfighting, showing that it’s clearly unacceptable to exploit animals in the name of art—but apparently, Joseph Grazi didn’t get the memo. As part of his “Prehysteria” exhibit at New York City’s Castle Fitzjohns Gallery, visitors are encouraged to walk over mice who are trapped in small plexiglass boxes embedded in the floor, causing these sensitive prey animals to be in constant fear that they’ll be trampled to death, with no means of escape. Please join PETA in urging Grazi and Castle Fitzjohns Gallery to step onto the right side of history by immediately removing the live mice from the exhibit and sending them to safe adoptive homes.
— Sarah Maslin Nir (@SarahMaslinNir) October 29, 2017
Mice are highly social animals who experience fear, loneliness, and pain, just as humans do. They have nervous systems similar to our own and easily bond both with each other and with their human guardians. They’re not inanimate objects, and forcing them into distressing situations isn’t creative—it’s cruel.
Castle Fitzjohns Gallery and Joseph Grazi could learn from the College Art Association, which has principles in place for artists engaging in any practice that uses live animals, including that “[n]o work of art should, in the course of its creation, cause physical or psychological pain, suffering, or distress to an animal.”
Tell Grazi and Castle Fitzjohns Gallery to stop exploiting mice immediately and commit to never using live animals as props again!