Marie José Burki “A dog in my mind and translations”

Small gallery at the Academy of Fine Arts (Sarajevo)
August 25 – September 20, 1998


A bird in a cage hops back and forth, from one peg to another. Geese, owls, herons, eagles are filmed so that the emphasis is on their beaks or their eyes. A dog looks at the television monitor. A horse runs in a circle. What unites all of these seemingly disparate images is the space  that Burki allows her subject.They are never seen as projections or some human sentiment or moral: they retain their uniqueness, their strangeness, their status as “other”. And, even with tendency in much contemporary cultural practice to romanticize the latter category, Burki insists on our not knowing these animals, not making them the receptacles of our collective fantasies. Thus, the nature of the artist’s look towards the animal subject determines our response, but is not deterministic. One of the keys to this fragile sense of balance between what we see and what we (do not) know is Burki’s emphasis on the notion of identity. (Michael Tarantino).