17.11.2017–7.1.2018 NÄYTTELY/TAPAHTUMA PÄÄTTYNYT
Noora Schroderus: The Dog Show
Noora Schroderus’s exhibition The Dog Show investigates the ancient, shared history of humanity and dogs and the dynamics of the two species’ present coexistence.
Schroderus originally got the idea for the show when one of her two dogs stepped inside a dollhouse Schroderus was renovating in her studio. Schroderus was fascinated by the image and began training the dog to pose for her camera inside the dollhouse’s rooms. The change in scale transformed the doe-eyed and innocent dog into an elephant in a china shop. Although the photographs in the Elephant series (2016) are touching and familiar, they also remind us that owning a pet is not necessarily just a pleasant thing, and that even a small animal can sometimes seem imposing and demanding. The pictures also make visible the less frequently admitted fact that pets themselves cannot decide with whom they live and what demands are placed on them; their lot is to adapt to the customs and lifestyle of their owner.
Made of human hair, the works in Schroderus’s earlier series Hairy Herbarium attracted attention in summer 2016 in Mänttä. Canis lupus familiaris (2017) continues the hair theme, but this time the material is the donated hair of several different dog breeds. Schroderus’s work is often based on material experiments; she is fascinated by the transformation of an ordinary and inconsequential material into a visual and aesthetic work of art. The creation of the works require manual skill, meticulous care and the learning of new techniques on the part of the artist, but those same factors also affect the experience of viewing. Embroidered dog hairs become portraits that are individual likenesses of the furry animals while also being named after them. The series demonstrates that name is what makes a dog meaningful, and that a dog with a name has a human companion. The name also reminds us that at best a dog is an equal life companion, and that a relationship with a dog can sometimes be longer and more meaningful that many interpersonal relationships.
Noora Schroderus (b. 1982) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2014. She lives and works in Salo and makes use a broad range of materials and techniques. Most recently her works have been exhibited at the Serlachius Museum Gösta and at Gallery Ama. In addition to her own artistic practice, she also collaborates with her husband, Kimmo Schroderus.
The exhibition is generously supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland and the Finnish Cultural Foundation. Thanks are due to all dog owners who donated hair for the works.
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