Dead Animals
Cat à la Carte

The second time I exhibited this artwork was at Cuts Gallery in London, England.

At that showing, the installation featured the freeze-dried cat spread out on a cutting board in front of a plate filled with furry skin. On the far right was a glass of red wine and in the middle was a black plate holding half of a freeze-dried foetal kitten.

PICTURE: top-side view of black restaurant table containing pregnant cat and one foetal kitten on a black plate.

The other half of the foetus was stuck to the end of a fork.

PICTURE: closeup of fetal kitten cut in half.  One half is on a black plate. The top half is stuck to the end of a fork.

This version of the installation was later reviewed in Artscribe magazine:

The starting point for Gibson’s “Dead Animals” show was the artist’s discovery, while living in Vancouver, that body parts (human and otherwise) were available for public purchase by mail order.

In Cat à la Carte, a half-finished glass of wine sits side by side with a freeze-dried pregnant cat, its rib-cage sawn through and organs exposed. A foetus (an apparent delicacy of haute cuisine) is pronged on a fork ready for consumption.

The sense of humour which is evident in the artist’s treatment of his “motif” stops the show from degenerating into a tedious ethical monologue. By keeping his own attitude non-committal, Gibson challenges his audience to be consistent. Whether this involves merely accepting the full consequences of conditioned attitudes or reaching for an entirely new set of values, is left intentionally unclear.