Newspaper: Clarin
Section: Society
Saturday, February 9, 2008


"The State saves animals and plants but not people"

* Lawyer and former district attorney in Jerusalem, he created "legal art" to denounce state indifference.

By Mercedes Pérez Bergliatta

Special for Clarín

Artist Mookie Tenembaum said "let's stop kidding, polar bears have seals for lunch, seals are not their friends". It was during "Bear shit" performance last Thursday night in front of the School of Architecture of the University of Buenos Aires where five half-naked people danced on an open field. Videos showing apparently ecological images were projected on their bodies. What was Tenembaum showing over those bodies in video? On one hand, on their chests, he projected the Coca Cola commercial in which a polar bear friendly invites a seal to have a soft drink. On the other hand, on their backs, those seals were devoured by the bears, as it happens in real life.

"Life is not a cartoon, we must not believe everything, we are no children", states Tenembaum convinced. "That is why I have invented a new kind of art, which adjusts to the denounces I want to make from now on: legal art. It is the art that defies the State, every State, using their own language.

"Life is not a cartoon, we must not believe everything, we are no children", says Tenembaum.

What we saw during the performance is really an argument. I say that the State has gone crazy, that it is engaged in saving all kinds of animals and plants instead of solving urgent problems that have to do with human beings". The theories and the work of this artist are well grounded, for Tenemban is, also, a lawyer graduated from the Law School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and specialized at Temple University of Philadelphia, and he was also district attorney in Jerusalem.

It is a curious and unusual profile for an artists. What lead him to leave his profession and devote himself to art? "I have ideas that can only be expressed by art", answers Tenembaum. "That is why I decided to create. So that, among other things, I can denounce situations such as the following one: Greenpeace has a budget of 200 million dollars per year that they use it to save animals. With that money, one million children could eat all the protein and calories they need during a year. That means that in order to save 500 whales, we kill one million children. What a Greenpeace", he says the artists, annoyed.

You can agree with him or not, but his proposal arises argument. Polemics that could probably be witnessed today at 2 PM at the front door of the Recoleta Cultural Center - in France Plaza- when, together with other artists, Tenembaum reads, on the street, the number of people on waiting list for an organ transplant from INCUCAI. This performance is called "It's my body, damned it!". It poses questions regarding everybody's right on our own bodies, to use them as we please. Whether that right exists or not.


Prensa / Press

Clarin I

Clarin II


Los Andes

La Razon

Buenos Aires Herald

Revista Ñ