Tuesday, December 15, 2009

William Wegman "Dog Duet" 1974

This first video is by William Wegman. Born in 1943 in Massachusetts, Wegman is best known for his work with dogs, specifically Weimaraners. Wegman has done work with both videos and photography and even frequented Sesame Street with his dogs. This particular video is from 1974 and is entitled "Dog Duet." In this video, Wegman holds a dog biscuit between his lips and lets his dog eat it straight from his mouth. This is a common trick many people do with their pets to show how gentle they can be. What Wegman does, however, is a little different. He doesn't let his dog simply grab it out of his mouth, but instead makes him eat it bite by bite. Because of this, it looks as if Wegman and his dog are sharing a rather intimate moment by making it appear as though they are kissing. This is a perfect example of a performance artist using endurance. Wegman doesn’t let his dog complete the simple act of grabbing the treat in one swift movement. Instead, he lies on the floor and treats his mouth as a food dish letting the dog continually eat straight from his mouth. This video is a perfect example of endurance for a performance artist. According to Patty Chang, “The element of endurance …finding the line between comfort and discomfort and holding it just a little too long.” Wegman tests his level of comfort by allowing his dog to practically eat right out of his mouth.

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