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Alberta art college instructor fired after chicken slaughter

Student slit the neck of the chicken, let it bleed out and then plucked it, as performance piece

Posted: May 8, 2013 7:14 PM ET

Last Updated: May 8, 2013 7:10 PM ET

An instructor at the Alberta College of Art and Design has been fired after a student slaughtered a chicken in the school cafeteria last month.

The student then dropped the dead chicken into a pot, as if he was preparing to eat it. The act was a performance piece for a school sculpture project.

The controversial performance shocked some students in the cafeteria and Calgary police were called to the scene. No charges were laid.

Gordon Ferguson, the head of the sculpture department, was fired Monday. The widely-respected instructor says he is taking some time to decide whether to speak publicly about it.

ACAD said they took action in the case, but otherwise declined to comment. They said it was an internal matter and that the institution adhered to their due process.

Angry students take to Facebook

Some students from ACAD and others took to the college's Facebook site to vent their anger.

"ACAD's decision to dismiss Gord Ferguson is outrageous," said Meredith Angus. "Your college is nothing without your instructors."

Jon Peters, a former ACAD student, said he is appalled at the short-sightedness of the decision.

"Art, and its institutions, are expressions of critical thinking, and are the lifeblood of our civilization," he said.

"As an instructor, Gord embodied this type of thinking, challenging his students to explore their environment in an intellectual and critical way."

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