In the video work Puppy Play, interpersonal and interspecies relationships are tested in a clearing in the forest. In the film’s initial sequence, we encounter a group of children in the woods, dressed in fur. They tumble around and lick each other, growl, yelp, and crawl with sticks in their mouths. In the second sequence, the perspective is displaced and as viewers we are now further away, as if sneaking up or spying on the flock from behind branches. The children make their way to a clearing where a wolf-like creature rests. There, they settle down, seemingly for the night. The piece prompts a sense of ambivalence and toggles between sweet romance and a scene of terror, as if it follows on the heels of a catastrophe where the children have been forced to fend for themselves. Puppy Play prompts questions concerning belonging, disaster, and trust with regard to biology and propagation. The voyeur’s potentially threatening gaze is addressed in relation to the power imbalance between children and adults, as well as between humans and animals. The work springs from The artists interest in the limitations of biology and belonging. It is also a work developed from two deeply personal experiences that coincided in time. Under dramatic circumstances The artist became mother to an infant whom she didn’t give birth to. Her body responded immediately by starting to lactate. Simultaneously her dog gave birth to stillborn puppies. In these challenging circumstances the definition of family and belonging was radically expanded for both The Artist and her dog.
Press about the project: