While I have narrowed down my project to the mistreatment of animals in sports, Alice Newstead’s performance piece on shark finning relates to my overall idea of the corrupt environment. She suspended herself with hooks through her back and said “I am doing this because the demand for shark fin soup and other shark products is wiping out the shark population” (Newstead). I am fascinated to learn how Newstead voices the protection of sharks.
The demand for shark fins has increased due to its Chinese delicacy. The finning results in the waste of the rest of the animal, throwing the shark overboard still alive and incapable of survival. Newstead is commenting on the decrease of the shark population, which is ultimately unnatural and inhumane. By putting herself in the same position as the shark she says she “will be left with scars, but the wounds will heal” (Newstead). Sharks on the other-hand will continue to perish if finning persists. I feel that by using her own body this may work well for the artist to draw awareness in a more alarmed manner. The loss of shark populations is driving them into extinction, thus upsetting their environment as a species and ecosystem.
I think that Alice Newstead’s work relates to David Hilliard (Heather’s pick) in that Heather said Hilliard’s “choice of unusual…human moments…help the audience to understand his objectives for his work.” In Newstead’s performance piece she treats herself like the fish, something very unusual, in order to get her point across.