Christian Gonzenbach

The Reprieve

The Reprieve, 2011

Lambs, artificial rock, enclosures, 66 days

450 x 350 x 500 cm (rock)

17 x 12 m (pen)

Three lambs were purchased on the day they were to leave for the slaughterhouse then placed in a controlled environment with natural light, a fake rock cave and fresh straw for 66 days. With lots of space and safety from harm, one could argue that it was an ideal setting for these three lambs.

Visitors were confronted with these animals that had a finite life expectancy for the duration of the exhibition and left wonder whether they were complicit in granting this temporary salvation to them along with the artist. As for these lambs, who were bred for their meat, the extension, whether it be 66 days, months or years, the life would always have the same fateful ending.