Original Publication Date: 5 April 2013
The Park Museum of Contemporary Art (PMoCA) is set to unveil its newest exhibit to the public this weekend and it promises to be one of the most talked-about artistic events in Park history.
At a gala opening tomorrow evening, patrons finally will be able to view the Museum’s — and The Park’s — first art installation. But that’s not all: the installation, which is entitled, How Much Was That Doggie in the Window? is a live art installation.
“It’s been a long slog for all of us, but we’re finally ready. All systems are go and we couldn’t be more excited,” says Aulikki Norsu, president of PMoCA’s board of directors.
The live exhibition, which depicts the sorry life of the domestic Canine, was curated by Dorika Pumi, whose previous work for the Museum includes the K-NONical Kismet exhibit and the controversial but well-received series of sketches entitled, Better To Be Lost Than Loved.
But this new exhibit is not just another one-dimensional criticism of Canine domesticity, Pumi insists.
“This is a living, breathing, depiction of one of the least-discussed but most horrifying aspects of domestic Canine life,” she says.
According to Pumi, thousands of Canines are bought every year (“purchased” is the word that Pumi uses) on the open market outside The Park, then housed in apartment complexes that are sometimes hundreds of feet in height, and left there to languish while their Human companions — the ones who profess to love them — stay away for hours on end.
“These Dogs have no idea whether those Humans will ever return,” says Pumi. “They don’t know what’s going to happen to them. They can’t get out of there on their own and every day they wonder whether they will die there, distraught and alone.”
To get her message across, Pumi enlisted the services of those who know whereof she speaks: The Park’s Canine refugees.
“These are the Dogs who have received assistance from Runaway Rovers, the immigrant aid group that helps formerly domestic Canines establish a better life in The Park,” she says.
Four different groups of these formerly domestic Dogs will work in the exhibit. Their shifts will be four hours long and two different groups will work on the installation each day. They will need a break after four hours, Pumi says, because they will have spent the entirety of that time howling while hanging out of the window of a wall that was specially constructed for the exhibit.
“It’s a tough job, but there was no shortage of Dogs who were willing to take it on when they heard about the project,” says Pumi. “They’ve lived the life and we’ve given them the chance to show us what it’s like.”
How Much Was That Doggie in the Window? will be installed at the Park Museum of Contemporary Art until November, 2013.