Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Is this the face of an art connoisseur?


Let me tell you about something that happened at the Des Moines Art Center. Among the many displays was a video installation. You went into a dark little room and sat down on a bench and watched a video projected onto the wall opposite. It was called, Zeno Writing and it was quite extraordinary, mesmerizing in its way. Black and white, surrealistic imagery, murmurous symphonic music, all that. Bao sat there, enthralled.

I'm serious. His eyes were wide open, his head was erect, he was rapt. This was unprecedented. Usually, he just curls up and goes to sleep.

First I thought it was because it was there in front of him, but the TV set at home is in front of him, and he never even looks at it.

The video lasted about 10 minutes, and he never blinked. He wasn't frightened, he was fascinated. And when we'd watched the whole thing and it was time to leave, he kept stopping to look back at it.

What do you suppose was going through his mind? What was it about this combination of sound and imagery that so intrigued Bao? Is there a canine aesthetic? Was it because this was in black and white, and he's only ever experienced the world in color?

They say dogs write their history in urine. Outside the museum -- when Bao thoughtfully lifted his leg -- I couldn't help wondering if what he was "writing" was a film critique!


Blogger Betty said...

Well, I've heard that dogs are color blind, so maybe these pictures, in black and white, were clearer and easier for Bao to see.?? I'm glad you both enjoyed them.

1:14 PM


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