ARTIST STATEMENT: FAMILY OF THE PRESENT
This series started as a tribute to Russian artist, Oleg Kulik; specifically his work, Family of the Future, in which he believed that an inter-species family would provide emotional comfort far beyond that of a human family. While not as raw or aggressive as Kulik, this work examines the polysemy of human as animal - as in our primal state or animal as our alter ego. First, there is the substitution aspect: the dog as family, friend, baby, lover. Similarly, the dog is a portal, where thoughts are expressed or wishes are carried out. It also creates a sense of freedom from being human and having to make choices or decisions. It is the freedom to just be. Second, there’s the idea of equality among all living things, and specifically in human relations. By being on all fours or on the same level as the dogs, hierarchies and/or emotional power struggles are eliminated. As per evidence in recent studies, hierarchies actually do not exist in wolf packs as previously thought, but rather that packs are designed within a familial structure. There is no alpha, beta or omega. Finally, going back to dog as surrogate-lover, and the sexual innuendos exhibited that clearly refer to love and lust; it is also about primal feelings such as hunger, thirst, desire. Besides the blatant fierce love for the dogs, the semiotics of the dogs fulfill a void, or satiate a desire, and are a way to exorcise that which haunts us.