It’s common for art galleries to receive a fresh coat of paint between one exhibit coming down and another being installed. Come October 20, the Syracuse University Art Galleries are going to need a hazmat-suit-requiring floor-to-ceiling deep cleaning to remove any and all traces of the Neanderthals who might have visited the place to see a repulsive and inanely titled show called Deer Dear. Drool will need to be removed from gallery walls and traces of human flesh will need to be peeled off floors on which visitors’ knuckles dragged.
Deer Dear is a collection of deer skins used as canvases and video-projection screens. The “artist” behind Deer Dear is a troglodytic mouth-breather named Tammy Renée Brackett, who chairs the digital media and animation department at the State University of New York’s Alfred State College. A description of Deer Dear on the Syracuse University Art Galleries website reads, in part: “Brackett’s recent work combines the digital and natural world to explore humans’ relationship with animals. … The exhibition focuses on the White Tailed Deer, posing questions about population control, loss of habitat, and mortality.”
Better — and less-insultingly — said, the “exhibit” celebrates mankind’s breathtaking arrogance. “Population control” — like “wildlife management” — is a euphemism for “sanctioned slaughter.” Deer Dear doesn’t pose “questions about population control, loss of habitat, and mortality.” Rather, it depicts the bloodlust and brutality that accompany the monstrous notion that man is entitled to hold dominion over other species.
If the “exhibit” raises any question, it is: What kind of rational and compassionate person would promote or be drawn to the work of terrorists?
The victims whose body parts are exploited in Deer Dear were cut down by motor vehicles and by hunters, including Brackett herself. According to an article published in The Syracuse Post-Standard, “One of her pieces of work, ‘Good Shot, Bad Shot,’ is simply two tanned hides given to her by hunter friends. … One shows a hole indicative of a heart shot in which the deer most likely died quickly. The other, a ‘gut shot’ further back on the hide, is indicative of a shot in which the deer died a longer, more painful death from the hunter’s bullet.”
Needless to say, the deer deserved better, in life and in death.
The mission of the Syracuse University Art Galleries “is to enhance the cultural environment of its community and surrounding area.”
Obviously, my idea of culture is quite different from that of David Lake Prince, the organization’s associate director and collections curator.
Clearly the evolved members of the Syracuse University community deserve better than to have their “cultural environment” enhanced by the public presentation of Brackett’s disgusting trophy collection.