CAT PEOPLE IN A DOG CITY
According to the Humane Society, Seattle has the second-highest per capita dog ownership rate of any US city. There are approximately 45% more dogs than children in Seattle. Some of us, however, are cat people.
But this is not about cats and dogs. And that is not why we organized a “Cat Faces” exhibition. From the call for entries:
Work that results in a cat face, but has an interesting way of getting there. Work in unusual media, on an unusual scale; work that involves an impossibly elaborate process, a succession of material transformations or conceptual translations, or that uses complicated machinery, industrial mechanisms, or other impractical techniques; work that requires painstaking labor, superhuman patience, or fantastic leaps in imagination, that accumulates its own impressive critical adornment, but results, after all that, in the end, in a cat face. Twist your own distinct practice—no matter how violently it must be twisted—to make it produce a cat face.
As part of the opening reception for our “Cat Faces” exhibition at FICTILIS, we produced hundreds of neon day-glo cat masks for visitors/performers to wear while in our space and afterwards, as they visited other galleries during Seattle’s Pioneer Square’s First Thursday Art Walk. Our intent was to take a central aspect of the show—the insidious, inescapable aesthetic of cuteness—and amplify it, more insidious, more inescapable, until it spilled out into the streets and into other institutions, trading in other aesthetic categories.