We have recently been turned on to artist and activist Mara Lefebvre, whose current project — “No Mercy” — is an art installation exploring how we treat the animals we eat. According to Mara, “‘No Mercy’ is a mixed media installation of which 35 sculptures have been completed. Wires, motors, electrical plugs, stove parts and other recycled objects are combined with plastic toy farm animals. The animals are confined, attached to wires and plugs or caught in unnatural positions. These postures represent the conditions at production facilities.”
Exploring the relationships between art and advocacy is not new for this artist, whose other provocative installations have also been known to raise eyebrows. Her previous work has included “Choking Hazard,” about overpopulation; “Fishing for Jesus,” about her relationship to religion, and “Bad Barbies,” about women and aging. Mara hopes this new installation will introduce viewers to compassionate eating. “On today’s factory farms,” she says, “animals are denied even their most basic natural behaviors. They are crowded in cages, not even allowed to be outside, and raised in misery.”
In addition to 100 small scale sculptures that will make up the installation, Mara also intends to include a short video that will further explain her own process in creating the piece. Since only area visitors will be able to attend the gallery installation (Mara has not yet finalized a location for it), by posting the accompanying video on the Internet, her hope is that it will reach a broader audience. “This documentation will be used beyond the site specific exhibition to broaden the animal rights statement of the art.”
Below is a sneak preview of some of the work from Mara Lefebvre’s installation, “No Mercy.” To view some of the artist’s other work, check out www.myartspace.com and do an artist search.
If you follow Our Hen House, you know that our inspiration for our Art of the Animal series was to shed light on the awesome work artists like Mara are doing to raise awareness about the plight of animals in cutting-edge, tantalizing ways. This kind of art — and, specifically, Mara’s — gives me shivers.