An Inclusive Litany

9/15/99

The Canada Council gave a $15,000 grant to University of Manitoba art professor Diana Thorneycroft for an art installation, titled "Monstrance," consisting of twelve rotting rabbit carcasses strung up, Blair-Witch-style, in a forest. Art patrons will be asked to roam the woods near the St. Norbert Arts and Cultural Centre with flashlights to see the corpses, which are stuffed with Thorneycroft's "photographic relics" as exposed as maggots decompose the rabbits' flesh.

A corresponding indoor exhibit features 23 shaved toy bunnies with various parts of the real rabbits' bodies stuffed inside. The carcasses are supposed to signify the partially transparent cases or holders in which the bread of the Eucharist is displayed in Roman Catholic churches.

"I'm celebrating the gloriousness of putrefaction," Ms. Thorneycroft said during a preview tour of the exhibit area. "All of us are moving toward death and dust. A lot of people won't acknowledge that." "The site deals most directly with the realities of death and decay and the way in which all life returns to earth," she said in an artist's statement provided to the Canada Council, which chose her proposal for funding from 232 applications.

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