AKI INOMATA, I Wear the Dog's Hair, and the Dog Wears My Hair, 2014
In this multi-channel video work, we see the artist with her dog. On both screens, shown side by side, a closely paralleled story unfolds over the duration of just 4 minutes. For much of the film, the action on each screen is roughly mirrored. We see INOMATA walking her dog through a park at the beginning, and then again at the end, this time through a gallery setting - the dog and artist, this time, each adorned with a new item of clothing. The stories diverge in the middle section of the films and we see the dog on the left screen being groomed and the artist on the right screen having her hair cut. The hair that is removed from each of them is then processed. On the left screen, the dog’s hair is spun and turned into coarse thread. It is then processed through a loom, and we see an elaborately textured shawl come together. On the right screen, the artist’s hair is gathered neatly, cut into uniform lengths and sewn into modular strips. These are then pattern-cut and stitched together to form a small silky coat. When the stories come back together for their mirrored sequences, the artist is wearing the shawl of her dog's hair, and the dog is wearing the winter coat of human hair. They stride through the gallery setting in their new, post-human attire. The film begins with a quote from Donna Haraway that asks, ‘Whom and what do I touch when I touch my dog’? Taken from her Companion Species Manifesto where she articulates the implosion of nature and culture in the joint lives of dogs and people, who are bonded in ‘significant otherness’, INOMATA invokes this sense of inter-species theory as a critical impulse toward greater human empathy.
|Duration||4 minutes 20 seconds|