Two students at Watkins College of Art and Design have decided to pull a controversial art project that they say is apparently just too shocking for some audiences.
The piece, titled Vaccine Hogs, features a continuing video loop of U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist receiving flu shots, interspersed with news footage of the long lines at the Metro Health Department last week.
Both Frist and Blackburn were among dozens of members of Congress who received flu shots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued guidelines asking that the limited supply of vaccine be reserved for children, the elderly and those with medical conditions.
Students Penny Scott and Phelps Elvin produced Vaccine Hogs and won an award at the Brownlee O. Currey Student Art Exhibition, but some viewers of the video reportedly were so upset that they needed to lie down for a few minutes and breathe through an oxygen mask.
"It was shocking, a real punch in the gut," says one attendee at the school's art exhibition. "I couldn't believe I was seeing a young, healthy woman like Marsha Blackburn getting a flu shot when I had to wait in line for hoursand I'm a veteran with only one lung."
"It looks like as soon as they heard there might be a shortage they couldn't get their sleeves rolled up fast enough," says another viewer.
The student artists say they just couldn't in good conscience continue to subject those attending the art exhibit to such disturbing images.
"The people who tend to get the most upset are the ones who need the flu shot, and those people are the most medically fragile to begin with," Scott says. "We wanted our art to make people think, and maybe even get angry, but when I saw some old guy watching our video collapse and get hauled away in an ambulanceit's just not worth it."
Blackburn's office issued a statement wishing a speedy recovery to those who needed medical attention after viewing the exhibit, and urged everyone to wash their hands frequently to help prevent spread of the flu.
(The Fabricator is satire. Don't believe everything you read.)
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