Bull fight at Mofo art show

Dis­ease fears raised over Dark Mofo per­for­mance

Sunday Tasmanian - - Front Page - KANE YOUNG

AN­I­MAL rights ac­tivists op­posed to Dark Mofo’s 150.Ac­tion per­for­mance have con­tacted both state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments to ex­press con­cerns about pos­si­ble pub­lic health is­sues and artist Her­mann Nitsch’s crim­i­nal record.

Nitsch, the 78-year-old Aus­trian artist, plans to present 150.Ac­tion — which in­volves a dead bull and 500 litres of blood — in Ho­bart on June 17.

An­i­mal Lib­er­a­tion Tas­ma­nia made a sub­mis­sion to Tas­ma­nia’s Health Min­is­ter, Michael Fer­gu­son, fear­ing that dis­ease could be trans­mit­ted by par­tic­i­pants’ ex­po­sure to the car­cass and blood.

AN­I­MAL rights ac­tivists op­posed to Dark Mofo’s con­tro­ver­sial 150.Ac­tion per­for­mance have con­tacted both state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments to ex­press con­cerns about pos­si­ble pub­lic health is­sues and artist Her­mann Nitsch’s crim­i­nal record.

Nitsch, the 78-year-old Aus­trian artist, plans to present 150.Ac­tion — which in­volves a dead bull and 500 litres of blood — in Ho­bart on June 17.

An­i­mal Lib­er­a­tion Tas­ma­nia has been lead­ing the charge to have 150.Ac­tion stopped and has now made a sub­mis­sion to Tas­ma­nia’s Health Min­is­ter, Michael Fer­gu­son, fear­ing that dis­ease could be trans­mit­ted by par­tic­i­pants’ ex­po­sure to the car­cass and blood.

“There are se­ri­ous pub­lic health con­cerns re­gard­ing 150. Ac­tion, in­clud­ing the risk of dis­eases trans­mit­ted from live­stock such as Q fever, and in­ci­den­tal food­borne ill­nesses from close con­tact with the car­cass and blood,” ALT spokesper­son Mehr Gupta said. “We re­quest that the or­gan­is­ers of Dark Mofo, as well as the State Gov­ern­ment, de­clare how they are in­tend­ing to pro­tect the general pub­lic from the risk of in­fec­tion should this event go ahead.”

ALT has also con­tacted the Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment to raise con­cerns about Nitsch’s crim­i­nal record, which in­cludes mul­ti­ple arrests and time in prison.

“We have ques­tions over his many brushes with the law, in­clud­ing cus­to­dial sen­tences and ex­tra­di­tion from Italy, in re­la­tion to his im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus,” ALT spokes­woman Kristy Al­ger said.

But Dark Mofo or­gan­is­ers said they were al­ready work­ing with the ap­pro­pri­ate health au­thor­i­ties in or­der to com­ply with oc­cu­pa­tional health and safety laws, and that Nitsch had al­ready been granted a visa.

The Mer­cury yes­ter­day re­vealed all tick­ets for 150.Ac­tion were to be can­celled and reis­sued, af­ter fes­ti­val or­gan­is­ers re­ceived in­for­ma­tion “in­di­cat­ing that a num­ber of peo­ple who reg­is­tered to at­tend have done so with the sole in­ten­tion of deny­ing ac­cess to oth­ers, or dis­rupt­ing the per­for­mance”.

More than 1000 peo­ple had signed up to be in the au­di­ence, and Dark Mofo or­gan­is­ers — who say they “re­spect peo­ple’s right to protest law­fully, pro­vided they do so out­side the event” — be­lieve about 200 of them were plan­ning to take some form of protest ac­tion.

New 150.Ac­tion tick­ets will be made avail­able in com­ing weeks, with the event to be moved to a new venue be­cause of safety con­cerns — a move wel­comed yes­ter­day by An­i­mal Lib­er­a­tion Tas­ma­nia.

“To date, we have utilised of­fi­cial means of op­po­si­tion to this event via the ap­pro­pri­ate au­thor­i­ties, and will con­tinue to do so,” Ms Al­ger said.

“Pub­lic safety is of course an is­sue that must be, and that we have al­ways, con­sid­ered in this mat­ter.”

Yes­ter­day’s front page story in the Mer­cury.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.