Wednesday, May 16, 2007

From El País:

Generalitat bans performance in which lobster is cooked

The play Accidents, by Rodrigo García, has been suspended at the Teatre Lliure because a lobster is killed on stage. The play, which consists of an actor cooking and eating the said crustacean (Homarus vulgaris), and which was to have gone on twice, yesterday and today, as part of the Radicals Lliure series of new works, has been denied the necessary authorization from the Generalitat because it violates animal protection laws.

The resolution, released yesterday by the sports and performances department of the department of public administration, said that the animal protection laws "expressly forbid killing animals as part of a performance," and that "the animal cannot be killed before the audience," though "exhibiting it once it has been cooked is not prohibited." The Generalitat denied "the application for authorization...because an invertebrate animal is killed in the performance."

In Rodrigo García's play, which will be performed in Reus in June and whose subtitle is "Killing to Eat," the tasty crustacean is cut up, cooked, and eaten to the tune of "What a Wonderful Day," without a doubt an ironic title for the lobster. A microphone in the animal's abdomen allows the public to sense its life going out, while another amplifies the noises made while preparing and cooking it.

Comments: 1) This is art? 2) Wonder how much the guy's subsidy from the Ministry of Culture was for this one? 3) I note that sticking bulls full of holes is still legal 4) Since when do you need the Generalitat's permission to put on a play? 5) Isn't this censorship? So where's Andy Robinson, who's so quick to sniff it out in New York? 6) The article was dreadfully written and I had to change all the sentences around to make them scan in English.

I remember about twenty years ago in the States some French chef came on the Today show to demonstrate grilling a lobster, and he chopped the critter up while it was squirming around, which grossed out Middle America because most of it had never seen a live lobster. It was definitely the media circus of the week. Another time, on Saturday Night Live, they bought this huge lobster that had made the news, and had a call-in vote on whether to eat it or let it live. The callers voted in favor of eating it, but they didn't actually show the lobster's demise. I imagine John Belushi probably ate it raw or something after the show.

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