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A fishy situation

Senior art major Jesse Krimes has always had in interest in using art to show the restrictions placed on humans by the power structures within our society and within institutions. In the past he has used plants to demonstrate his idea, for his newest project he used fish.

Krimes placed plexy glass against the windows covering the stairwell door windows on each floor of Breidenstine leaving a half-inch space between the glass of the window and the plexy glass.

He then filled the space with water and placed a small beta fish within the space on each floor.

“The fish is a metaphor for the individual and its placement in this window in the larger stands for the institutional setting and it comments on our inability to escape the technology of power and the power structures in our society and within institutions,” Krimes said.

Notes criticizing Krimes of animal cruelty are plastered on the first floor door which houses the first fish along with notes arguing that the environment is sufficient and non-harmful.

“I researched this, and I found that they [betta fish] like bigger areas.

They can’t thrive in this environment but it can survive, which calls attention to the restrictions,” Krimes said.

Krimes feeds the fish daily and changes the water twice a week. It takes five cups of water to fill the environment that houses the fish which is four cups more water then the one cup of water they live in at the pet store.

A Beta fish stuck between a rock and a hard place. On display on the Breidenstine first and third floor doors in the stairwell. Photo by Augusta Nissly.
A Beta fish stuck between a rock and a hard place. On display on the Breidenstine first and third floor doors in the stairwell. Photo by Augusta Nissly.

“It calls into question who has the right to place these restrictions upon us? Who makes the laws and who is to say they are right or wrong,” Krimes said. “A lot of people skip over educational institution but we are enrolled in educational institutions from preschool to adults. We are instructed and guided into conforming to society.”

The art work will be displayed at least until Friday and maybe until the end of next week. The fish can be seen on the first and third floors of Breidenstine at the doors of the stairwell. The fish on the second floor was stolen out of a strong reaction to the piece.

“It is a form of censorship. They have no right to censor my art work and they could come and talk to me about it or fill out the proper forms to have it removed. What they did was theft,” Krimes said.