I fell head over heals for John Divola's Dogs Chasing My Car in The Desert and Dogs Run Sequence series. Timing was right while I was in Santa Barbara yesterday and I was able to see the fantastic exhibit John Divola: As Far As I Could Get . It's currently on view at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, though sadly it closes in a matter of days on January 12, 2014, but you can still his work at LACMA through July 6, 2014. Spread over multiple galleries, the entire installation is beautifully put together.
"From 1995 to 1998 I worked on a series of photographs of isolated houses in the desert at the east-end of the Morongo Valley in Southern California. As I meandered through the desert, a dog would occasionally chase my car. Sometime in 1996 I began to bring along a 35mm camera equipped with a motor drive and loaded with a fast and grainy black-and-white film. The process was simple; when I saw a dog coming toward the car I would pre-focus the camera and set the exposure. With one hand on the steering wheel, I would hold the camera out the window and expose anywhere from a few frames to a complete roll of film. I'll admit that I was not above turning around and taking a second pass in front of a house with an enthusiastic dog. Contemplating a dog chasing a car invites any number of metaphors and juxtapositions: culture and nature, the domestic and the wild, love and hate, joy and fear, the heroic and the idiotic. It could be viewed as a visceral and kinetic dance. Here we have two vectors and velocities, that of a dog and that of a car and, seeing that a camera will never capture reality and that a dog will never catch a car, evidence of devotion to a hopeless enterprise."
– John Divola