Gold & mushrooms
photography and some more art from Alexandra Soldatova
The Great Dog
2017 - 2020
The goal of this project is to discover one of the basic human aspirations – to control nature. Being controlled, even if control is an illusion, it becomes predictable, and therefore safe for us. What we do not control in any way, we somehow try to explain with the manifestation of the divine.

My focus is on the interaction of the two systems – nature and culture. Passing the process of raising a puppy, I mainly study the domination technologies; I become a witness to the manifestation of varying degrees of cruelty, violence towards each other, both of nature to me and my own in relation to the animal. I want to understand where is that line that separates self-preservation and protects a certain order of systems from the trivial desire to be better than the other. Looking at the details I find our "cultural" attitude to nature, to the dog in particular, to be very modern, extremely egocentric and excessive. In my project, along with the images, I use the quotes offered to us by the community related to the love of the dog – kennels, guidelines for raising a puppy and also philosophers exploring the relationship between man and animal.
«Parenting begins from the moment when the puppy has become your family's property. From now on you are going to be his adored master, you must obey without any objection, and carefully guard your flock and goods. In order to fully submit a dog and become a leader for it, it is required to show firmness and confidence. If you neglect this condition, a small pet will try to seize the power.»
«God, the patron of the dead, necropolises and cemeteries, one of the judges of the realm of the dead, the keeper of poisons and medicines, the "guide of souls". Anubis puts the heart of the deceased on one scale, and the goddess of the truth Maat in the form of an ostrich feather is placed on the other. A soul that is heavier than a feather will immediately be devoured by a terrible monster.»
«They [animals] are the objects of our ever-growing knowledge. What we know about them – the list of signs our power, which means a list of what separates us from them. The more we know, the farther they are from us.»
«They were subjugated and worshiped, they were bred and sacrificed at the same time. Residual features of this dualism are preserved among those who live side by side with animals.»
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