The Elimination Of Elephants…


Despite the way we as a species treat animals, people love elephants. I won’t go into the ways we abuse them or animals as a whole because we know all this. And yet as a result of our atrocious behavior, we have eliminated another one of our American institutions, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. They say since they are no longer allowed to incorporate elephants in their show, attendance has been down. I suppose this isn’t the sole reason for “The Greatest Show On Earth’ to close, but who wants to go to a circus and nor see elephants? Personally I haven’t been to the circus for many years. Actually I never cared for it. I found it perverse and abusive, but that’s me. So along with the Carnegie Deli, another bit of our culture is about to sail into history.

Speaking of which, ABC NO Rio the art punk haven of the 80’s-90’s is about to have some kind of face lift (?.) Many years ago I curated a show called Where Are The Woman. One of the venues was ABC NO Rio. Upon given the keys I was told not to open the door for anyone. The city was trying to get in and the people who ran the space had locked them out. It was all very guerrilla and gangsta at the time. The neighborhood was less than safe so I had no problem locking the doors and not answering. The place was smelly, dirty and very LES at the time. Not so much anymore. So when I read that this too will change, it broke my heart. Gone are the days when you didn’t walk past Second Avenue for fear of getting killed or worse.

And just when I decided to start come to terms with gentrification and Condo Cancer, Trump wins the election.

On a more positive note during the Whitney Biennial my work along with 500 others will be part of a digital display at the museum. This was a call out from DEPTFARE/OCCUPY MUSEUMS, (emerged from Occupy Wall Street) and I have to say although physically I did not get my work in, this is still very cool. Special thanks!!

Unnatural Election: Artists Respond to the 2016 US Presidential Election is another show, again digital. Makes it easy since I didn’t have to deliver the work. The opening is this coming Thursday so if you are in town, stop by. Again many thanks to Andrea Arroyo for putting this together.

Other stuff:

Been posting a lot on

My review last week on Moving Poems.

Over the next few weeks/months will be reformatting Greeting From Karpland. Stay tuned for that one. I’ll be blogging a lot about it on the other site (above link.)




About cherylgross

Fine artist, Illustrator and author of The Karpland Chronicles. Professor Pratt Institute and Bloomfield College. Motion graphic collaborations with poet Nicelle Davis include: Commit to Memory: The Precipice of Extinction, In The Circus Of You, Becoming Judas and The Poster Reads; ACTIVE SHOOTER EVENT, travel the video poetry festival circuit. See resume at for other accomplishments.
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3 Responses to The Elimination Of Elephants…

  1. Pingback: Our Ever Changing World… | greetingsfromkarpland ivan's blog

  2. I understand the idea of an “American Institution.” However, as we learn more about the atrocities these animals endured, we evolve as a society, and the institution becomes outdated, irrelevant. And, if that includes only having circuses with human, voluntary performers, then so be it.
    At one time, I was once fascinated by the acts these animals (were forced to ) perform(ed). I was amazed by all the exotic creatures I could see at the zoo–ones I never would have seen up close in real life. But then I realized; its not real life, especially not for them. They deserve to live their lives as was intended, left alone in the wild and enjoyed from a safe distance.
    If the circus industry wants to remain relevant and evolve with society, they need to reinvent themselves into a more acceptable and ethical form of entertainment.

    • cherylgross says:

      I totally agree Dave. Everyday we hear how yet another species is put on the endangered list. Personally I think if it were not for our fascination with control and atrocities, this would never have come into being. I for one do not frequent zoos/circuses. When I was 18 I found myself in Barcelona. I went to a bullfight on my birthday. It screwed me up for a very long time.

      That being said what I find sad is our disappearing institutions. Unfortunately the circus is very much a part of this. I can remember many years ago, the first time I went to the circus I witnessed the Side Show/Freak show. I was very young and I did not see the appeal of watching people, however physically compromised perform tricks. I agree B&B is barbaric and should never have been allowed to exist. Sad world we live in. I feel worse that places like CBGB’s, ABC NO Rio and The Carnegie Deli have fallen into the 21st Century abyss.

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