NOBA Põhja- ja Baltimaade kaasaegse kunsti keskkond

Dogs of Tbilisi, 2024

30 x 64 cm

tetra pack print on paper

Work was exhibited at solo-exhibition “KERA”. It seems to me that in Georgia there are at least as many dogs as there are people – if not more. They live alongside people and quietly go about their own business. Usually, they sleep or wander around, trying to be as cute as possible – maybe someone will drop a morsel. And not only do they receive food leftovers and drinking water (especially on scorching hot summer days) from everywhere, but in front of shops and on street corners, one can also see small dog houses – airbnbs for the four-legged ones. There are probably already too many of them for shelters to function effectively. However, there are vaccination groups that ensure there is no fear of rabies at least. Vaccinated dogs have a beautiful colored earring in their ears. Strangely enough, all the dogs seem quite healthy, well-fed, beautiful, and often look purebred. At night, the streets belong to them. Then, one can see a rather peculiar and frightening sight of different dog gangs on every corner. Groups of three to five in parks, who have chosen a single awake person or a couple and provide bodyguard services in hopes of receiving snacks or companionship in return. If you happen to pass by such a gang, you are threatened from afar with barking and growling – especially if you have a couple of four-legged bodyguards of your own. Then it’s best to keep a low profile, say a few calming greeting words – which hopefully your bodyguards will also do, and then it’s safe for both groups to pass each other. There are probably inter-group clashes, as nightly barking and scuffles often echo through the streets, and in the glow of traffic lights, one can see chases, fights, and declarations of love. In Georgia, it’s the opposite – people live in cages built for their protection, and animals live freely.

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