Dogs of Weserhalle: Group Show

7. Dec '2320. Jan '24
Open Hours and Location:
Open Tuesday - Saturday, 14:00 - 18:00

Weserstr. 46
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‘Dogs of Weserhalle’ presents 16 artists and their perspectives on the world’s favourite furry friend. The event also marks our official release of the Dogs of Weserhalle Calendar and will be available throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Anna Hofmann
Bastian Thiery
Donnie O’Donnell
Egor Lovki
Emily Yong Beck
Georg Haberler
Georg Vierbuchen & Leah Barna
Jinhee Kim
Katie Kimmel
King Rhomberg
Leo Luccioni
Marcel Walldorf
Nicholas Stewens
Philip Emde
Sevina Tzánou
Sonja Yakovleva
Stephan Hostettler

Guest Curator Dominika Bednarsky.
Text Julia Meyer-Brehm (German Text)
Translation Lena Stewens
Writing an exhibition text about dogs is a rewarding task – because who could possibly disagree when a song of praise is sung in honour of these clumsy four-legged friends? The far more difficult task is an exhibition text addressing the actual protagonists of this show. So a text about and for dogs would probably read something like this:

It’s been a long day. You’ve vomited on the carpet, strutted around the neighbourhood and met that terrier at the intersection who always causes a scene. As a napping furball on the tube, you won the hearts of your fellow passengers and you waited faithfully for your owner in front of the supermarket. For what felt like hours. And now you are both here. It smells quite exciting: a bit of the street, a bit of oil paint, but mostly of dog. In the air, you can detect the tracks of the various canines that have entered and left this place in the last few days or hours. Perhaps they have even been painted on canvas, photographed or their poop bags have been formed into a sculpture. You discover works that look incredibly good, smell even better and invite you to plunge your nose deep into them. Perhaps in an unobserved moment …?

At Weserhalle, 16 artists present their take on the world’s most beloved furry friend. Thereby utilising a variety of techniques, for example, drawing, painting, paper cutting or sculpture, as well as a wide range of materials. Employing ceramics, plastic, wood or paper, they depict almost every aspect of a dog’s life: from wagging tails to turds, from hunting instincts to beady eyes. We encounter lapdogs and objects of fear, tantalising Poodles and curious Dalmatians. Innocent glares, sniffers and, above all, lots of tongues.

Throughout the history of art, dogs have symbolised loyalty and vigilance as well as power structures or the dark depths of human nature, as is shown in works such as Schongauer’s “Ecce Homo” (ca. 1475) or Dix’s “Match Dealer” (1920). Their depiction has always reflected not only the ever-changing relationship between humans and animals but has also been a mirror for the developments in our society and our very identity. As cultural archetypes, the quadrupeds raise profound questions about the meaning of social norms: Why are character traits such as loyalty and obedience in our animal companions of such importance to us? Does owning a four-legged family member contradict the concurrent consumption of other animals? And is there not a similar double standard to be observed in the differentiation between pedigree breeding and stray dogs?

Political and social issues also come to the fore at Weserhalle, when a piece of fur peeks out from under its glazed porcelain replica, thus indicating the conflict between the search for recognition and authenticity. Speaking of credibility: that dogs are also being used as mascots for dubious mineral oil companies, demonstrates the drawing of a six-legged, fire-breathing dog, which takes up the logo of the energy company “Eni”. Many of the works show these animals as status symbols and thus thematise the supposed prestige value of living beings.

The exhibition and the calendar “Dogs of Weserhalle” are therefore not only a homage to and a creative exploration of the dog phenomena but also an attempt to be the master of its complexity.

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