Latvian performance artist Arturs Bērziņš has managed to spark a heated debate about the ethics of his latest project, where he sliced bits of flesh from two people’s bodies, cooked them in a frying pan and fed it back to them.
Bērziņš’ controversial performance, named Eschatology, was staged on March 6th, at the Museum LV un Grata JJ, in Riga. As promised, those in attendance were treated to something they had most likely never seen before. The artist, wearing a white forensic suit, practiced his surgical skills on two models – a man and a woman – slicing bits of flesh from their backs, then frying them in a hot pan and feeding the meat back to them.
It was definitely not a performance for the faint of heart, so the fact that it was also broadcast on Facebook Live and that a recording of it can still be found on YouTube has sparked some controversy in the Baltic country. Some people even notified the police about it, asking if they planned to take any action against Arturs Bērziņš, but si foar the authorities have exercised caution, arguing that even though the ethical aspect of having this sort of performance broadcast online is questionable, the event itself does not constitute a crime.
No formal complaints against the artist have been made so far, but the police promise that if they end up receiving one, they will investigate to the best of their abilities.
As for the meaning of Arturs Bērziņš’ unique performance, Latvian website Satori does a great job of explaining it. Unfortunately, Google Translate does NOT do a very good job translating it. If the name of the performance is any indication, cannibalism is just one of the things human will resort to as they face extinction.
A word of advice – don’t watch the YouTube video if you have a weak stomach.