On a very rainy miserable Sunday, my boyfriend and I desperately wanted to see Christian Marclay’s groundbreaking 24-hour video work, The Clock on its last day showing! This was probably not the best idea as the lines to this exhibit were the length of the museum and then doubled around the corner outside. We had hoped the horrible weather may deter people from heading to the city...we were hugely mistaken.
Our spirits were lifted though when we realised that 20 something dachshunds don’t randomly congregate in the MCA forecourt, they were in fact there for a reason! Bennett Miller’s Dachshund U.N was showing! The lead up to the performance was possibly the funniest sight as 20 or more tubby, short hair, long hair and yappy dachshund’s waited in their little rain coats before taking the stage! The crowd outside the gallery was growing as people started to wonder what was going on, fascinated by the scene occurring.
Dachshund U.N is both a large scale architectural installation and a performance work that examined the role of the United Nations. Miller created a scale replica of a former U.N. office in Geneva, Switzerland where he would host a meeting with all 47 national delegates...except the delegates are 47 squirming barking tail-wagging Dachshund delegates! It was both chaotic and comical but also a real sense of joy as you watched the owners interact with their pets and the audience laugh at the disinterested speaker or the sleepy United States pup and loud Norway delegate.Unfortunately not all 47 delegates could be there as the weather was quite horrendous but there were still enough for the show to go on!
When Miller was asked what triggered his thoughts, he answered:
“My interest in the reputation of the UN was triggered when the ‘coalition of the willing’ bypassed the UN during the Iraq War. Since then I’ve been interested in the public perception of the value of the UN- and what forces are at play in shaping this perception. I’m also very interested in the conflicts between the UN and Israel, which had a few flashpoints last year after the Goldstone Report. I developed this work in response to the festival theme ‘No Risk too Great’. The UN is a very good fit for that idea, and while my work seems like a piss-take, I’m actually a huge fan of the UN (whilst it has some massive failings- the idea of it alone is quite important)” skynoise.net
I'm a huge fan of Artists who tackle big subjects in a light and entertaining way. As an artist, I think it's more effective when you don't try to shove your opinions down peoples throats, you need to be able to create an atmosphere that allows for the audience to question and divulge the statements you are trying to make.
So yes, overall huge fan of Bennett Miller, such a clever artist :)
PS: attached some photos from the exhibit!