Recently I, Rudyard Sneem – celebrated critic of all things art, was informed of an upcoming exhibition by the young artist Léna Virgler. Being quite a patron and holding my self in high esteem as an appreciateur I decided to attend the vernisage.

Following directions is not the strongest card in my deck; a mind so naturally gifted in special relations can easily be confused by the rudimentary scrawling of simple minded cartographers. Nevertheless I found myself more or less on the right track when I arrived at the exhibition, interestingly named Zoo World. Once inside this zeitgeist of the avant-guard I was greeted by what must have been the galleries’ curator; splendidly in character as a pet shop owner. It seems the artist has leaned away from her former work of paints and brushes and such and turned her hand to animatronics, with very realistic results.

Incredible lifelike showings
Scattered around the gallery were cages and tanks containing these new works, moving and sounding so realistic one could be forgiven for thinking this was an actual pet shop. A few flaws are expected in an artist’s first few showings and so it was the case here. Removing my pince nez to thoughtfully inspect the puppy, I removed its’ outer casing and was surprised to find the inside too, had been lovingly represented as lifelike as possible. Unfortunately some of the burgundy colored hydraulic fluid stained the front of my cravat and I was forced to clean it on the shirt front of a passing waiter. None of the usual pleasantries were provided like the complementary wine and crackers, nor did I catch sight of the artist herself. But in a true subversion of the dominant paradigm she had created a “full immersion” experience; a benchmark for others to follow.

Editors note: Rudyard Sneem actually missed the real exhibition by Léna Virgler and instead went to a pet store by mistake. Charges are pending over the mutilation of the puppy and the assault on a local resident. We all wish him the best in his future endeavors.