Text by James Tana
In a group exhibit about pets, the participating artists examine the act petting as a gesture suggestive of the feeling of longing for intimate connections during a crisis of touch. “Pet Porno” exhibition introduces petting as a privilege and, somehow, becomes indicative of the economics and currencies that the act entails, most especially, in a time when fetishes are equated to commodity.
“Touch allows us to simultaneously receive and transmit feelings,” says the curator of the show Jeona Zoleta in an interview with Art+. Here, touch is used as a powerful tool in establishing relationships and in determining the level of intimacy through the sensations it produces. “It is the only sense shared by two [people],” adds Zoleta.
From pressured to pleasured pain “placed on the skin” in the form of corporal punishment, this skin-to-skin interaction could only be yet another way of speculating on our animalistic tendencies as human beings. The artworks—from kitschy to something furry—allow us to experience such sensations visually.
Welcoming and entertaining the idea of opening up art to our non-human counterparts, the artists interrogate their audience: Who are we making art for? Maybe a monkey who knows how to paint could give a definite answer instead.
“Pet Porno” features the works of Robert Langgeneger, Marti Guerrero, Kitty Kaburo, Patrick Cruz, Paul Mondok, Isola Tong, Doktor Karayom, Dex Fernandez, Marie Navalez, Martin de Mesa, Jellyfishkisses, Miguel Aquilizan, Jessica Dorizac, Catalina Africa, Paola Germar, Paolo Picones, Willilam Mateo, Maria Vicente, and Small Mountain Dogs.
“Pet Porno” was on view at Kamias Special Projects, 124 K-8 Kamias, Quezon City. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to view the works online.