Dozens of hamsters freed from plastic balls
Last Thursday the Society for the Protection of Animals raided an Amsterdam art gallery in co-operation with the local police to free dozens of hamsters. The animals were part of an exhibition by artist Tinkebell (pseudonym of Katinka Simonse) called Empathy. In the exhibition hamsters were locked up in plastic, see-through play-balls, set in a recreated living room. With the exhibition Tinkebell wants to expose the “ambiguous morality of animal rights and environmental activists” by using the “often naïve ideas that people—activists—have about the concept of freedom in the animal world.” The balls she uses (so called “run-about balls”) are popular with pet owners, who use them to let their pets roam relatively free through the house “without the worry of escape or injury,” as one merchant calls it.
The artist is in the dark about the why of the raid. “Nobody told me anything,” she told Amsterdam TV channel AT5. According to AT5, Tinkebell and the galery owner will be questioned by the police next week.
Tinkebell caused an earlier uproar when she killed her three year old cat to turn it into a handbag. In the TV program De Wereld Draait Door she suggested that it was a mercy killing, claiming the cat was depressed.
Via Fok (Dutch). Source image: Empathy.