Melbourne, Australia: What has 188 legs and promotes world peace?
From May 13-30, Melbourne welcomes the Next Wave Festival, the annual smorgasbord of art-hybrid installations and performances. 2010's theme is No Risk Too Great, a call to artists to inject a little chaos into our micro-managed lives.
And what could be more chaotic (or awesome) than recreating the United Nations with dachshunds?
Perth-based artist Bennett Miller has spent the last year doing two things: Constructing a meticulously detailed scale replica of the Geneva U.N. office, and recruiting and training weinerdogs from all over Victoria.
For three Saturdays in May, the structure—installed in Melbourne Museum Plaza—will play host to a meeting of the U.N.'s Commission on Human Rights, wherein all 47 national delegates will be live dachshunds engaged in what is being billed as "rigorous debate."
Miller's artist statement calls the piece "both a large-scale architectural installation and a performance work that examines the role of the U.N. as a risk-management organization."
The whole thing could devolve into a bum-sniffing, alpha-dogging, rump-humping circus—kind of like the real U.N., when you think about it—and that's the point. "It's meant to go wrong a little bit, like the U.N. often does," he's said. "But, equally, it's important to try and make it happen."
Reflecting the U.N.'s own diversity, short-, long- and wire-haired dachshunds will be represented, as will variations in color and dappling of fur.