‘Cause death for no reason is murder, nine thousand butterflies that died in Damien Hirst’s “In and Out of Love” at the Tate makes that retrospective a genocide. “There would be national outcry if the exhibition involved any other animal, such as a dog,” says rep Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Just because it is butterflies, that does not mean they do not deserve to be treated with kindness.”
The Owl and Heliconius butterflies usually live up to nine months in the wild, and only a few hours inside the chambers of doom. Over the course of five months, 400 butterflies needed to be “replenished” a week.
If Morissey wanted Damien Hirst’s head in a bag for the pickling animal corpses in formaldehyde aquariums, suppose now Hirst should be forced to sit inside a giant bowl of fruit, attempting to flutter about the room festooned with kaleidoscopic canvases collaged with the dead, waiting to get knocked down by a giant toddler hand and crushed under the steel-toed big boot of karma.