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Digital Showcase

On [dog's name]
       
Curatorial strategy for artefacts of diverse origin.
  
Dimension variable, 2021.




On [dog's name] explores modern taxonomy and its influence on the contemporary understanding of authenticity by enquiring the impact of the discovery of the New World and how the necessity of a universal system of classification might have fostered the establishment of a canon still sustained by institutional bodies heir of colonial power structures, such as the museum and the academia.

Through the manufacturing of diverse and modified objects and facsimiles, On [dog's name] researches their intrinsic nature by intentionally generating a set of problems in their categorisation through traditional systems of classification. These are meant to rouse taxonomical headaches similar to those identified after the proliferation of the greenhouses as sites for the study of alien species. It is in these structures designed to fabricate an artificial climate where cross-pollination is recognised as one of the first concerns regarding the domestication of nature and its placement within an anthropocentric regulatory frame. Likewise, hybridisation is often perceived as a contaminating factor within the pure categories that deserve to be conserved and represented by science.


The two Mackintosh's fires have been a continuous influence in the development of this project, instigating an analysis on the politics of replication, reconstruction, facsimilization and trauma and their effect on the reading of artefacts—all of these narratives present in the works that constitute On [dog's name].


The fires have established a framework through which to examine the effect of materiality and authenticity. Using The Glasgow School of Art's plaster casts collection, this project examines their material efficiency as disseminators in their use as tools for the education of artists. A paradox is proposed on the construction of the plaster casts as subjects: they are often devoided of stable meanings as they share a physical form with a recognisable artefact, but that is what allowed them to be the subject of representation by being the embodiment of one of the many iterations of the canon's images; being, ironically, meant to be subjected in the educational context to continuous deforming representations.

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The physical install of On [dog's name] took part in July 2021 during Part 2 of The Alternative Degree Show in Glasgow, where the placement of every object followed a non-anthropocentric curating logic as it was the consequence of tracking the unconditioned response of a domesticated animal to the artefacts.

A second iteration of On [dog’s name] was exhibited between December 2021 and February 2022 at Stills in Edinburgh as On [dog’s name] - alphabetical iteration.

FUTUREPROOF 2021 (installation detail), Stills: Centre for Photography. Photograph by Alan Dimmick