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, thereâ€™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.