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This Great Society

These two videos, each a documentation of an unrehearsed private event involving domesticated dogs, subtly re-imagine the master/beast paradigm.

In Kisses, the artist/performer/master becomes passive, offering himself as the object of the dogs’ will. The excessive licking and claustrophobic encounter that ensues is an uneasy marriage of laughter and discomfort that evokes questions of inter-species intimacy.

Tennis Balls is, in some ways, the inverse of Kisses. Whereas the licks in Kisses might be seen as the dogs’ profuse out-flowing of affection toward the man, the copious supply of tennis balls might be seen as a human attempt to gratify the dog’s desires abundantly.

In both cases, simple, humorous actions—somewhere between visual poetry and thought experiment—probe the real and imagined boundaries that separate humans and animals.

This Great Society
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