Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Politics is for the dogs: Daschund UN

Some people really love their dogs!

dogsWhat do you call a multi-national group of Dachshund dogs? An assembly it would seem - and a United Nations one at that! Thanks to a public performance art event conceived by sculptor and installation artist Bennett Miller from WA, the amphitheatre and forecourt of the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art in Northbridge was recently transformed into a semblance of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights complete with timber veneer tiered ‘assembly’ seating, microphones and country place names.

The representatives of the various countries were a mixed group of Dachshund dogs – volunteered for the occasion by their admiring human owners. If the artist was trying to make a subtle dig at the U.N. and its constituents, then he certainly succeeded, and the analogy of it being all bark and no bite was successfully portrayed by the canine actors.

Cairns Pet NewsThe dogs took to the occasion with all the regal aplomb that perhaps only a Dachshund can muster – peering eagerly out from their seats, curiously leaning over the edge of the benches to sniff their international neighbours, and some offered some candid commentary on their thoughts on world affairs with some spirited barking. While some members decided to turn their back on proceedings and offer their wagging tails as part of the discussion, there were no international incidents noted, with each country’s representative retaining a civil air and on their best behaviour.

A large crowd of onlookers clapped and cheered the assembled canines, and comments could be heard such as, “Oh I think Burkina Faso’s got something important to say!”, “Now Ghana doesn’t look too happy does he, must have been offended by something Mauritius said!”, and “I think Zambia’s lost interest in the long speech being orated by Ukraine!”.

Dachshund U.N was produced by installation artist Bennett Miller who has previously incorporated Dachshund dogs into his work, with the installation piece Garden Art Action featuring a topiary maze at Dachshund height. Whilst some people might simply ask ‘why?’, the event proved a popular talking point and was a unique interaction between dogs and art. Just don’t ask if any motions were passed.

Photography Phil Tucak www.philtucak.com

Dr Phil Tucak is a veterinary surgeon, television producer and journalist from Perth.

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