Dog Dream

Back home we have a saying: “the marching goes on even when dogs bark.” If he thinks he can scare us with the sound of a dog barking, that’s really a dog dream. -North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho, September 19, 2017

Dream interpretation is popular in Korea: losing teeth in a dream is an omen for death or loss, snake dreams predict pregnancy, pig dreams bring wealth. The term dog dream (개꿈) however, does not refer to a dream with a dog in it—in this case the dog is the dreamer. Dog dreams are scattered, useless, with no predictive wisdom or meaning whatsoever.

This exhibition is presented concurrently with another show of the same title at House Guest, and pairs text with a series of sculptures made of rope, plastic, animal parts and other materials. The House Guest show also includes a 7 min video and a music composition performed live on April 14.

Dog Dream by artist Nina Sarnelle is an ongoing investigation of world events, and especially the hyper-masculine posturing of neo-fascist leaders, through the lens of canine psychology: a model based on dominance and submission, fear and aggression.

This work has developed in response to the rise of American dogs-eating-dogs, an open embrace of value systems based in endless competition, blind loyalty, public shaming, racist othering, personal defensiveness and threats of violence. Indeed, the US government today appears unable to tolerate compromise or complexity, dismissing diplomatic relations, undermining all critical discussion, chasing the dream of authoritarianism like a Chihuahua in an art gallery.

Dog Dream Closing with performances
May 27 2018 from 8-10PM Dog Dream Closing Reception


Nina Sarnelle is an artist and musician living in Los Angeles, with a BA from Oberlin College and MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. A founding member of the Institute for New Feeling and dadpranks, her work has recently been shown at Whitechapel Gallery, Hammer Museum, Getty Center, Ballroom Marfa, MoMA (NY), Istanbul Modern, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, NADA Miami, MAAT (Lisbon), Fundacion PROA (Buenos Aires), Black Cube (Denver), Southern Exposure (San Francisco), Recess (NY), Akademie Schloss Solitude, UNSW Galleries (Sydney), Project 88 (Mumbai), Villa Croce Contemporary (Genova), CCA Santa Fe, MWoods (Beijing), MoCA Cleveland; and featured in Frieze, Art in America, HuffPost, SFMoMA, Creators Project, FlashArt, and Hyperallergic. www.ninasarnelle.com