Art can be seen as almost anything but don’t go too far. A museum in Germany had to remove a controversial art installation that was killing flies.
The animal rights group PETA filed a complaint against Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg for the art installation “A Hundred Years (1990)” by artist Damien Hirst. The art piece featured a fly-killing UV light that infringed on Germany’s Animal Welfare Act, which bans the killing or harming of animals without proper reason. It’s unclear as to whether or not flies fall under that law but overall, the decision sparked major controversy in the country.
“Killing animals has nothing to do with art, it just shows the arrogance of people who literally will stop at nothing for their own interests,” Peter Höffken of PETA Germany said.
Although flies are normally seen as annoying pests, PETA seems to think otherwise. On the other hand, representatives of the museum didn’t think flies fell under the country’s Animal Welfare act. According to the museum, they would have asked the artist if he could replace the real flies with artificial ones. Albeit, doing so would most likely ruin the concept of the entire art installation.
“A Hundred Years” is a commentary on the fact that many flies die when exposed to public light. It is made up of a transparent cube split into two areas — one where the flies hatch and another where a UV lamp is hanging from the ceiling. Since flies are attracted by the light, if they fly through a small hole between the two areas, they will be burned to death.