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but is it art?

(65 Posts)
sunseeker Fri 22-Apr-16 12:37:59

There is an "art installation" in Bristol at the moment. An artist has moved two cows into a marquee in the city centre and plans to live there with them for the next week, milking them (by machine) three times a day. She claims it is to raise awareness of where our food comes from. Now I live in a farming community and feel that cows belong in fields not in a tent in the middle of a busy city, very close to a very large nightclub. I am all in favour of people learning more about where their food comes from but can't see that this will do that.

Anniebach Fri 22-Apr-16 12:46:08

Surely people know cows milk comes from cows and this is so wrong to keep cows in the middle of a city

Jane10 Fri 22-Apr-16 14:13:55

I think that city people don't even think about where food comes from. This project (not art to me) could be good especially for youngsters if the cows were in a city park, on the grass. So I think the idea is OK but the execution isn't.

Elegran Fri 22-Apr-16 14:35:21

I suspect the project is for the sake of the artist, not the cows. If she has any knowledge of dairy farming, she will be able to comment on them being better off in a field, but as she is probably a city girl she will probably be quite put out when they do what cows do and mess up her nice installation. They might not be too keen on the tent anyway and make a move to escape!

I imagine she was inspired by the outbreak of fibreglass cows painted i9n psychedelic colours.

M0nica Fri 22-Apr-16 15:04:40

It is not art it is an education project to draw peoples attention to where milk comes from. Whether as an education project is sensible or pertinent is another question. Perhaps a local allotment association in Bristol could open up its allotments and call them a work of art, which of course some of them will be because they make people aware how fruit and vegetables are grown.

Perhaps the steel works at Port Talbot could open their doors to show people how steel is made and apply to the Arts Council for a grant claiming that by so doing it is creating a work of art. It might raise enough money to stop it being closed.

inatiz Fri 22-Apr-16 16:41:28

for me, it's not to show people where their food comes from in the sense that it comes from cows - it's to show them the cruelty of the dairy industry. I think that's what she's getting at, but not showing effectively. I fully support that idea, as the more you read about practices and cruelty to the animals we're profiting from, the more this big business makes you sick. I just don't think this is the way to do it. THe animals' welfare has to come first.

inatiz Fri 22-Apr-16 16:47:47

although, having now read a BBC article she does say she's neither pro- nor anti-dairy, she's just trying to create debate. publicity stunt then? Silly.

NotTooOld Fri 22-Apr-16 18:01:45

No, not art, just attention seeking. But, of course, it HAS attracted our attention and got us talking, discussing animal welfare and the origin of our food, as was perhaps the intention. You could say art is about stretching the imagination and widening the boundaries. Perhaps it is art after all although maybe not as we know it?

M0nica Fri 22-Apr-16 19:17:53

Yes, t has got our attention and got us talking about the origin of our food, but that doesn't make it art, otherwise the EU referendum could be described as art. It has attracted our atention, or is trying to and gotus talking.

Gemmag Fri 22-Apr-16 22:23:09

No, it is not art. If people living in Bristol want to see cows all they have to do is visit one of the many farms on the outskirts of the city. We have had 6 cows grazing in Leigh Woods in Bristol for the last 2 weeks and they will remain there untill October.
Another daft idea. One daft idea after another in Bristol and all in the name of art. It was boats (yes boats) in the woods last year for several months. ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿšค

Jalima Fri 22-Apr-16 23:44:54

I must say that when I saw her interviewed on the local news I was bemused about what the point of it all was.

However, I did notice that however much the interviewer tried to push the girl into admitting it was the wrong environment for cows, that they may not be happy, the surrounding noise could startle them etc, she remained calm and explained that these were show cows, quite used to crowds and noise etc.

Meanwhile the cows carried on contentedly chewing the cud, one nearly asleep, totally unperturbed by the interviewer or camera.

sunseeker Sat 23-Apr-16 07:31:56

These may be show cows but they would not be used to the noise of late night in a city centre. Can you imagine the people who have had too much to drink, leaving the night club in the early hours who would think it a big laugh to mess with these poor creatures. Even just standing near them shouting would startle them and cause them stress. Then there is the traffic noise, which in Bristol city centre would be almost 24 hours.

Riverwalk Sat 23-Apr-16 08:03:40

City people do think about where their food comes from.

Yes cows do belong in a field, but many cows, possibly most, don't live an idyllic bucolic chewing the cud lifestyle. A city tent might be a welcome change from a cold drafty shed.

absent Sat 23-Apr-16 08:07:23

Going back to the question in the OP rather than discussing the welfare of the particular cows, I would suggest that art โ€“ whether fine art, sculpture, drama, music, literature or whatever โ€“ involves intentional design and creativity. This may or may not be a worthwhile thought-provoking installation but, in my book, it ain't art.

michellehargreaves Sat 23-Apr-16 09:09:57

I remember, years ago, asking my cousin (who had been to art school,.) what installation art was. She replied, you know those buildings wrapped in brown paper. Says it all really!

sunseeker Sat 23-Apr-16 09:14:09

Riverwalk These cows actually come from a local farm where they live in fields in good weather, being in a tent would be totally alien to them.

trisher Sat 23-Apr-16 09:37:40

These days art is anything you can convince the so called experts is art, but I do think this is going a bit far. Maybe animal activists will intervene and kidnap (cownap?) the cows releasing them into a field somewhere. I wonder if she is getting some arts funding for this?

grandMattie Sat 23-Apr-16 10:32:35

When I heard about "cows", I first thought they would be like last year's very successful and amusing "Shaun the Sheep" installations round Bristol but with cows... Then perhaps it would be "formaldehyde cows" like Damien Hirst's.
Really! what will these attention seekers do next in the name of "Art"?
And those poor cows. I hope they get sent back to their field/shed very soon and not upon the completion of this silly woman's "installation".

HootyMcOwlface Sat 23-Apr-16 12:12:14

I think someone ought to call the police in, and get them moooved on.

rosesarered Sat 23-Apr-16 15:05:57


rosesarered Sat 23-Apr-16 15:07:02

I expect they will be alright in the tent, it's only for a short while. No, it isn't art though, it's a stunt.

Shazmo24 Sat 23-Apr-16 15:18:51

I live in Bristol...The cows are fine. .chilled out & nor in distress. ..lots of kids have no idea where milk comes from other than in plastic bottles from the supermarket...she's got their welfare and security covered

Jalima Sat 23-Apr-16 15:24:08

Shazmo24 Thanks for that, did not make it into Bristol today but glad to know the cows are fine (as I thought they would be having seen her and them on the tv).
The people from Peta, Animal Aid and the BBC are a lot more agitated than the cows from the evidence so far.

She had already said that they are show cows - anyone who has been to a big show knows how many people are there, how noisy it can be - probably more so than Bristol day or night!
The countryside is not all quiet and peaceful, and no, there are many children who just think that milk comes in plastic bottles .....

Jalima Sat 23-Apr-16 15:25:53

I would rather see them in the city centre than the half one in formaldehyde by thingy Hurst

Jalima Sat 23-Apr-16 15:33:41

Artist Nessie Reid's The Milking Parlour is designed to raise awareness about farming and food production
Ms Reid is living with two pure-bred Guernsey cows in Anchor Bay, and hopes the project will "create debate"

She will probably achieve both those aims smile