If dogs could tell us how to live our lives
The myth of the Savage Human draws us towards the illusion of a pure, unspoiled human being. Who would we be if we were not ‘contaminated’ by human society nor human care?
A newly constellated family is nurtured by a Female Dog, the Motherdog, and harbours 6 individuals, victims of emotional shipwrecks and broken families. Some were adopted and nourished from early birth on. This surrogate family, a matriarchy with strict rules of behaviour, operates under the credo of respect and primal survival. It is a safe-haven for individuals stranded on the margins of society, abandoned, lost and misplaced. Initially the ’pack’ is hostile to the outside world. Like wild dogs they maraud the outskirts of civilisation, following the animal soul and urge; ready to grab, to attack, to defend, an instinct of survival. But not only the outside world is a threat, internal forces, the struggle between a matriarchal and patriarchal ruling puts the stability of the family at stake as well.
When outsiders, the ‘civilised’, discover the secluded community they encounter a hostile, menacing environment, but the distrust is mutual. Will some of them cross the bridge that separates these 2 entities and will they pay a price for letting go of their human shell and protection? Will both parties succeed in establishing a new collective, archaic existence, a way of living that we humans thought we left behind forever, as if we evolved for the better? Maybe they gradually realise we lost a spiritual tranquility in the quest for better and more. And will they retreat in this new existence, away from a world in turmoil? Is it possible to create a real safe haven or is it a primitive utopia, a collective delusion, only lasting till reality strikes again.
Motherdog is a physical performance relying on a raw, physical state of human animals, creatures that search for truth and sense with the help of the tools and the comprehension of an animal mind, a mind that goes beyond human language and ratio. A mind also that we, humans, classify as lesser and incomplete but that might have a flexibility and intuitive force that will prevail and even survive us.
DRAWINGS / RESEARCH
PHOTOS ¢ ROACH
PHOTOS ¢ CHRIS VAN DER BURGHT