Petting Zoo (Streichelzoo)
Dit kunstwerk heb ik op Skulptur Projekte Münster 2007 gezien. Hierbij 2 foto’s met details van de installatie.
‘The angels who came to Sodom and Gomorrah to put an end to the notorious sins of the cities’ inhabitants warned only Lot and his wife that they must leave the city. And although they were told to do so without looking back even once, Lot’s wife disobeyed the angels’ instruction and was transformed into a pillar of salt. However, this sad tale of those who defy a divine decree ends on a conciliatory note in its idyllic final scene: ever since the tragic event, animals have come to the pillar to lick the salt.
Just a stone’s throw away from Münster’s main train station, the American artist Mike Kelley is restaging this biblical legend, expanding the scene, however, to include the visitors. Kelley invites them to visit his petting zoo, which is open every day to the general public. The animals may be fed and petted, and all of them – sheep, goats, and ponies – will be crowding together with the visitors around Mrs. Lot’s pillar, which Mike Kelley has fashioned according to images from children’s bibles from his own boyhood.
Studies have demonstrated that petting animals relieves stress and may even promote longevity in humans. However, affection also leads to feelings of dependence, and in one’s desire to do only the best for oneself and others, love proves itself to be blind. Somehow strangely, the animals in Kelley’s petting zoo are shown videos of three rock formations named after Lot’s wife: one on the Dead Sea, one in New South Wales, Australia, and the other in St. Helena.’