Turin (Italy), May 1999
This exhibition intends to be a "provoking" experience, perhaps a painfully revealing one, about the underground world of vivisection, known to just a few.
We mean it to be an eye-opener to all those who are not aware of what vivisection means, or who simply do not pay enough attention to it. It has been exhibited several times since May 1999 when it was held for the first time in Turin, Italy, and thereafter in various other Italian cities; always resulting in a major success in terms of the many interested people that were attracted.
Therefore, we would like to submit the idea to other animal rights associations, groups or even private individuals that could be interested in setting up such an exhibition.
You can download here the pictures (23 Mbyte).
Please, bear in mind that the photographs and captions can also be used for other purposes:
We held the exhibition along a fairly wide, busy main street, chosen also it because of its arcades where we could repair in case of rain. The ideal time of the year is late spring but really any time is suitable, as long as there is a constant flow of people walking by. It is advisable to keep the exhibition open for at least two days, ideally during a weekend. It could also be held in an outside courtyard or an open gallery of a university. Advertising it is not necessary, as the main aim is to catch the attention of the passers-by.
We had made two sets of three panels each. Each set of three panels is hinged so that they can be opened up as a folder (or as a screen, so to speak, see picture at the beginning of this page). They are wooden, measuring 170cm in height and 160cm in width - that is the minimum size to allow two A4 sheets to stand horizontally. In this way, you have 12 sides on which you can pin the photographs up.
As regards the making of the panels, one could apply to the local carpenter or build them yourself, buying the wood at a DIY wholesale centre (you can find them on the industrial outskirts of any town). You should get a MDF sheet 4mm thick, standard measure 320cm x 260cm. Considering the size, we had to cut the sheet onsite with a hack sawing-machine, taking care to respect the panel measurement (170cm x 60cm).
The panels must then be joined in sets of three, each by hinges, so as to get a sort of screen and taking care to put the screws not directly into the wood, but into pre-drilled holes.
Transparent A4 folders are then attached to the panels with bi-adhesive tape, so that the photographs can be put into them. In this way, they can easily be put in and taken out. Moreover, the tape can be removed easily if you chose to reorder the picture arrangement and without ruining the wood of the panels.
The photographs, which are in jpg format, come from various associations and relate to different periods ranging from the 50's to the 90's. The captions beneath each photo should be attached directly onto the wooden panel with bi-adhesive tape. We have chosen 57 photos; some of them are A4 size, some A5. All A5 photos have been grouped in pairs and saved in a single file to be printed in A4 size. ALL files should be printed in A4 size (for a total of 45 files).
We have tried to order the photographs so to combine them with the introductory texts which we mention in the next paragraph. Consequently, all photos are numbered and there is an indication as to which panel each of them should be attached to. All A5 pairs are numbered in succession and it is sufficient to attach each caption to the relevant photograph.
In addition to the captions we have designed some introductory texts (7) on various antivivisection subjects: they consists of A4 sheets printed in a large format, and not too lengthy otherwise visitors would not read them. They cover the ethical aspect, the scientific aspect, and contain our "Lords Vivisector", "Vivisector's gems", "What we can do", "Descartes view of animals", "Psychological research on animals". For these texts too, there are indication as to which panel they should be attached to - around mid-panel for better visibility.
It is important to have plenty of booklets or pamphlets on the scientific argument against vivisection handy, to give to visitors. You can get them from the Antivivisection Associations in your Country.
We attach some cardboard folders/magazine-racks filled with booklets to the panels, so the visitors can pick them up without having to ask for them at the desk (helpful for the more reserved types!).
It is essential to write on the racks " FREE - help yourselves"; these folders should be put low down on the panels, where pictures would be poorly visible.
To attach the folders to the panels, we use a couple of self-adhesive metal holders, of the type used in the kitchen for "pot-holders". They hold quite well, only take care not to load the folders too much! It is better to refill them when and as needed.
Other areas not occupied by photographs can be filled up with information bills: your local AR Association's bills, or a "sign our petition" notice, etc. In addition, you can add to the info material with a small press review, made up of articles or quotes by antivivisection doctors and scientists.
Between one panel set and the other, we put an information desk, where we place the two main petitions to be signed - it would be better if they related to the vivisection theme - but any other AR topic would do as well.
To save space, we choose not to display T-shirts, gadgets, etc. - however that is up to you and your local circumstances.
Finally, we would like to give you some direction as to the best text and photograph layout: please, do not disregard this piece of advice, as it took us some time to formulate it!
Text - "Ethical antivivisection"
Photos 11-16 Text "Descartes"
Text "Scientific antivivisection"
Text: "What we can do"
Text "Psychological experiments"
Photos 51-53 Text "Lords vivisectors"
Text "Vivisectors' gems"
Considering that you would have the texts and photographs ready and at your disposal, we reckon that one day (half a day if you share the work) should be enough to set up the whole exhibition; i.e. printing the texts and attaching the folders and the photographs. This does not include making of the panels.