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May 31, 2010

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Woof! Ruff! A-Rooo-ooo!

In the moody blur-grey of a late autumn afternoon on the forecourt of the Melbourne Museum, a gathering of 47 dachshunds drew hundreds of well-wishers together in hope.

They were the quadruped delegates of Dachshund U.N, an “architectural installation and performance work” by Bennett Miller. The project is “a joyful and chaotic experiment … a meditation on the utopian aspirations of the Commission on Human Rights, and our capacity as humans to imagine and achieve a universal system of justice.”


On the day, we noticed that Brazil drooped and dozed, that other delegates kept sniffing the butt of United States, that Italy was above average in glossiness and gorgeousness. Slovenia kept wanting to see over the wall, Burkina Faso wanted to make friends with Philippines, and Mexico sported a dachshund cosy. China could care less, Uruguay – wait a minute, there are two Uruguays!, and where, exactly, is United Kingdom? Here, Cleggles, good boy!

(The sharp eyes of an actual U.N.-connected friend: “…the Slovakian, delegately licking his balls.  The UK rep is not in his seat because judging by the Ghanaian’s far-away look, the Brit’s doing him a favour under the bench.”)

And here is the speaker, speaking. All our swollen hearts leapt in pleasure and pride. (Click on image for a large display.)


Here’s the the live action clip (featuring a snag on wheels). Excuse the shakey verité mode – I was shaking, with joy and chaos.

And finally, the owners, patiently hidden beneath the delegates – their administrative support – for the hour of the performance, popping up for a curtain call. Huzzah!



Note: Apparently coming soon to dachshund fanciers in Perth.

Chong Weng Ho — Culture Mulcher

Chong Weng Ho

Culture Mulcher

W. H. Chong is a book designer and artist. He is Design Director at Text Publishing, and a founding member of ABDA (Australian Book Designers Association) where he currently serves as Secretary. His work can be seen at whchong.com.

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