by John Stoehr
"Visitors to my exhibition will be able to feed goldfish with it."
Yep, it's like that.
The Art Newspaper reports today of a death row inmate in Texas who has given permission to a European artist to use his body for a political work of art.
Gene Hathorn, who is now 47, was convicted of murder when he was 21, in 1985, and has been on death row ever since.
Artist Marco Evaristti is against capital punishment. He befriended Hathorn, regularly visiting him in Livingston, Texas, before asking him if he would donate his body.
Evaristti said he wanted to raise awareness "of the fact that there are people killed legally in our Western civilisation."
The artist evidently sees nothing ironic or unethical about using a man's body for art.
“The real problem is legally killing people,” Evaristti told the newspaper.
If it's not unethical, then it's certainly cynical and self-aggrandizing.