Jan Adriaans

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Duration video: 6 min. 21 sec.



In a car workshop type space, between the pristine surfaces of car parts, archetypes of mass production, a construction of power is unfolding between a Dobermann Pinscher and its owner. A Dobermann is a special breed, it is gracious, loyal, and potentially aggressive to strangers. It needs strong training.

   The Doberman Pinscher was developed in around 1890 by a German tax-collector, primarily as a guard dog. It has a very mixed ancestry of many different types of dogs, for instance the Rottweiler, Black and Tan Terrier, and German Pinscher. But the complete list of related dogs is impossible to trace back. It is suited for police and military work as it is an energetic and intelligent creature with a very strong bite due to its long muzzle. A docked tail makes the dog more aggressive. It gives the dog a more streamlined appearance, and it is less likely to get injured during a police action.

   A Dobermann needs severe training. Both the owner’s and the dog’s consciousness are formed within this relationship. By the obedient appearance of the dog, it seems to concede to the rules it’s been given. But by knowing the rules it starts to gain power itself.

   The impression the video gives moves between floating through an abattoir where fresh slaughtered livestock is vertically stored and moved around in this almost perfectly hidden horror of death, and a peek into a shop window, where commodities are on display, waiting for a buyer in their best possible appearance. Starting from Wilfrid Sellars theory on the self: If the abattoir represents our scientific self; our matter, our genetic material, our flesh and bones without moral or ethics. In the image of the shop window our manifest self is reflected, a self constructed in a social context, a world of abstractions, of language and reasoning.



Voice: Joshua Thies

Dobermann Pinscher: Andor

Camera: Lonneke Worm

Sound postproduction: Charly van Rest

Thanks to: DKC Moving Image, Rotterdam

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