death penalty news—-TEXAS

Sept. 2


Artist to feed convict to goldfish

A convict on death row in America has agreed to let his body be made into
a work of art if his final appeal against execution fails.

Gene Hathorn, who has been on death row since 1985, has given his consent
for artist Marco Evaristti, the bad boy of the Danish art scene, to use
his body as an art installation.

"My aim is to first deep freeze Gene's body and then make fish food out of
it. Visitors to my exhibition will be able to feed goldfish with it,"
Evaristti told the Art Newspaper.

It is not the 1st time the artist has gained notoriety: in 2000, he came
to worldwide attention when he put live goldfish into 10 electric blenders
filled with water and invited visitors to the exhibition at Denmark's
Trapholt Art Museum to switch them on.

The artist has visited Hathorn, 47, at his prison in Texas several times
in the last year, and hopes this work will go on to form part of his wider
project against capital punishment, which has included designing clothes
for prisoners to wear on their execution day.

Evaristti does not think his plan is unethical. "The real problem is
legally killing people," he said.

The artist has previously campaigned on issues of territorial boundaries
and environmental pollution by spray-painting an entire iceberg red in
Greenland in 2004. In June last year he was arrested while trying to do
the same to the peak of Mont Blanc.

Hathorn has been awaiting execution after being found guilty of the murder
of his father, stepmother and stepbrother in 1985.

His friend James Beathard was also convicted for the murders on the
testimony of Hathorn, who believed he would be spared as a result. When
prosecutors reneged on the deal, Hathorn recanted his testimony, but it
was too late to beat a 30-day deadline following Beathard's conviction and
he was executed by lethal injection in 1999.

(source: The Guardian)