Artists: Arnold Veber, Polina Zaslavskaya, Grisha Rakhmilovich, Alexander Sedelnikov, Gosha Elaev
During the residency period a group of artists examined a group of local dogs and their lifestyle, seeking leads for transhistorical and cultural intersections between modern traditions of hospitality and an ancient Greek philosophy of Cynicism. At the end, they stumbled with a question: what if the dogs were also observing us?
For the Cynics, the purpose of life is to live in virtue, in agreement with nature. As reasoning creatures, people can gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in a way which is natural for themselves, rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, and fame. Instead, they were to lead a simple life free from all possessions.
There are four reasons why the Cynics are so named. First because of the indifference of their way of life, for they make a cult of indifference and, like dogs, eat and make love in public, go barefoot, and sleep wherever the night falls. The second reason is that the dog is a shameless animal, and they make a cult of shamelessness, not as being beneath modesty, but as superior to it. The third reason is that the dog is a good guard, and they guard the tenets of their philosophy. The fourth reason is that the dog is a discriminating animal which can distinguish between its friends and enemies. So do they recognize as friends those who are suited to philosophy, and receive them kindly, while those unfitted they drive away, like dogs, by barking at them.