Exhibition & Art Talk : “Me and the Black Dog” by Kate Owens and Neeta Madahar

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Inauguration, Talk and Presentation: 13 December 2014, 7:00 pm

Exhibition on view: 14-17 December 2014, 11:00 am to 8:00 pm

Venue: French Gallery, Alliance Francaise d’Ahmedabad


‘Me and the Black Dog’ has received a prestigious award from the Arts Council, England to finance its production. It is commissioned by FACT (http://www.fact.co.uk/), the UK’s largest public gallery devoted to digital art. The animation will have its UK premiere at FACT in March, 2015.
‘Me and the Black Dog (MATBD) is a collaborative animation by Neeta Madahar and Kate Owens. A thirteen minute hand-drawn animation with spoken text, it depicts the interactions of a female protagonist and a giant black dog.

Within British folklore, numerous references to the ‘black dog’ as a metaphor for dark, malevolent forces exist. For example, a legend dating back to Viking times describes Black Shuck, a ghostly dog, roaming the East Anglian countryside. More recently, the ‘black dog’ has come to symbolise darker aspects of the human psyche. Winston Churchill called his depression his ‘black dog’ and musicians Nick Drake and the Manic Street Preachers have associated the ‘black dog’ with black moods in their songs. MATBD uses these negative connotations as its foundation. Through a playful, non-narrative and fragmentary approach, it explores the unruly, dark element in one’s personality as something not necessarily to be feared or eradicated.

The dog portrayed in MATBD is a male Newfoundland ; a large, powerful animal, whose manner can shift quickly from benign to overwhelmingly brutish. It is also an abject beast constantly shedding great volumes of hair and saliva. The animation has an aesthetic similar to the 1970s ‘Roobarb and Custard’ cartoons where outlines ‘wobble’ to evoke uncertainty. The voiceover maintains this elusiveness by avoiding a narrative structure and through interweaving fact and fiction. Sometimes, grammar breaks down and repetition, rhyme and other wordplays ensue.’

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Date(s) - 13/12/2014 - 17/12/2014
7:00 pm

French Gallery at Alliance Française d'Ahmedabad