► Überhund – Taiteen kiehtovat koirat (Canines on Canvas) takes a colourful look at the many ways dogs have been depicted in art over the past 150 years. Our canine companions have more relevant than ever in the wake of the pandemic, which has reduced our social contacts to the four walls of our homes. Dog registrations have shot up eight per cent over the past year, and dogs play a more important role in society than ever before in history.
That said, our relationship with dogs is a complex one: canines are looked upon as objects, yet with a strong subjecthood. In art, dogs have been harnessed a vehicle of expression to deliver a commentary on our culture and society. Dogs are traditionally associated with attributes such as dependability, loyalty, companionship, helpfulness
and adorableness, sometimes also cuteness verging on maudlin sentimentality. These recurring stereotypes tend to oversimplify our perception of dogs, clouding our ability to see them as living, sentient beings. Überhund reflects on the meanings conventionally assigned to dogs as well their political role, the ethics of aesthetic dog breeding, and the materiality of canines. The exhibition accompanying this book will open at Salo Art Museum in autumn 2022 and later tour museums in Kouvola, Jyväskylä, Mikkeli and Kuopio.