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Laberinto para ratones blancos [Labyrinth for White Mice]

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Laberinto para ratones blancos [Labyrinth for White Mice]

20th century
49.2 cm x 59 cm (19 3/8 in. x 23 1/4 in.)

Luis Fernando Benedit (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1937 – , Buenos Aires, Argentina) Primary

Object Type: drawing
Artist Nationality: Latin America, Argentinean
Medium and Support: Pencil and watercolor on paper
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Waldo Rasmussen, 1982
Accession Number: 1982.184

Trained as an architect, Luis Fernando Benedit began constructing artificial environments for plants and animals in 1967 in order to explore the effects of habitat on behavior. One well-known installation by Benedit, “Biotron” (1970), housed four thousand bees that were given the choice of feeding from artificial flowers directed by a computer to drip sugar, or actual flowers from a nearby garden. The bees preferred the artificial solution. In this drawing, Benedit proposes an artificial environment for white rats that consists of a maze, a food source, material for burrowing, and an area for sleeping. Benedit’s artificial environments may reference the restriction of public space and behavior under military dictatorships, with the white rats demonstrating the processes of adaptation and citizen formation under a new social order.

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