PETA Staged a Protest Against Mice Exhibit at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery on Orchard Street
An exhibit on Orchard Street with live mice beneath the floor has PETA up in arms.
For the last couple weeks, the popular four-year-old Castle Fitzjohns gallery at 98 Orchard Street has been showing “The Social Network,” an footpath installation showcasing live mice in the floor. It’s meant to explore notions of phobia.
Per the New York Times:
[Artist Joseph] Grazi, 33, who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, created the mouse-tiled floor installation, called “The Social Network,” as a commentary on the isolation endemic in social media. Arranged like a chessboard, each tile is roughly a square foot and contains a tiny dish of water, a stick, some food pellets and a little white mouse with red eyes sitting on black sand.
All mice in the exhibition are available for adoption, with three reportedly having been snapped up.
Nevertheless, PETA activists organized Saturday afternoon to protest the gallery. Out came the costumes and opposition signs with messages like “Let my people go” and “Terrifying mice is cruelty, not art.”
The backlash comes shortly after the Guggenheim terminated similar exhibits showcasing live reptiles as props (“Theater of the World” by the Chinese conceptual artist Huang Yong Ping).
Castle Fitzjohns, for its part, gains valuable exposure in the mainstream spotlight.