So proud to part of @bikubenfondens artistic practice program! Here is a video about our work, our studio and our mission with How to kill a dog ❤️
Artistic Practice featuring How To Kill A Dog: “We’re making the intimate political”
Artiststudio How To Kill A Dog is on a mission to inhabit the present space of theater stages, so that the intimate becomes political. They are creating metaphors that set myths about women free, and through their insistent humor, musical intensity and confrontational political movement, they are aiming to change something in the audience to create space for the young woman’s voice.
Jennifer Vedsted Christiansen and Emma Sehested Høeg from How To Kill A Dog have been selected for Bikubenfonden’s “Artistic Practice” series – for particularly promising artistic practices. The two artists are insisting on having fun, while they –
through their concert performances – are breaking down the boundaries that usually define performance arts.
“What we are drawing on, consistently, is our profound interest in changing something in the audience. For this reason, our artistic practice is focused on expressions and even more intensely on the impression that our pieces make. Pop and humor are parts of our method but the goal is always to make festive, fun and sexy performances art, which has
the potential to give rise to serious political change,” says Jennifer Vedsted Christiansen, director.
How To Kill A Dog believes in the energy that can be brought forward when people gather in front of a stage. As a symbol of the world’s distorted power relations, the artiststudio is constantly playing with the power relation between their artistic expressions from the stage and the audience’s reception in the hall.
With powerful musical discharges of energy and an insistence on “pumping up the volume”, they occupy, captivate and liberate the audience’s intimate spheres and break down the boundaries between actor, stage and viewer. The laughter, the sense of disgust and the reciprocal human reflections generate the foundation for effectuating potential political change – a potential that is positioned centrally within the group’s artistic practice.
“The young woman is struggling with quite a lot and finds being in our world difficult. We recognize both ourselves and many girls and women around us as we examine these problems. This is why we think that it’s interesting to work with the young woman as metaphor and to set her free, definitively, through the power of art,” says Emma Sehested Høeg, actress and composer.
The encompassing presence and condensed form of performance art is the perfect space for How To Kill A Dog, considering that there is a prevailing desire to turn what is intimate into a political battleground.
Farewell Madonna – new piece in 2023
In February 2023, How To Kill A Dog will present their final piece in the performance arts trilogy, which has been co-produced with Theater Republique in Copenhagen.
In this new piece, “Farewell Madonna”, How To Kill A Dog will be breaking free from the millennium-long stranglehold that patriarchal narratives have had on the pure and innocent Madonna and the diabolical, female seductress.
One can expect to see a ritual redemption, carried forward through a musical orgy of body, sweat, hair, nails and excrement, set to musical tones of the mass, hymns and community singing – imbued with a wish to re-write history and make space for new dreams.
“Farewell Madonna” finalizes the trilogy about the rebellious female animal, which laid bare her sense of shame in “Welcome Pandora” (2019) and portrayed the young woman as currency, in a capitalist and male-dominated world, in “Lolita Forever” (2020).
Innovative gender-political theater for the future
How To Kill A Dog takes a refined approach to gender-political themes. Today’s woman is entirely in the forefront and becomes de-mythologized and emancipated from all the roles that she has had no part in defining.
Through a curious and experimental practice, How To Kill A Dog put themselves into play in their pieces, and contribute with merciless disclosures of the confusion that women can feel in a society where sexuality, body, gender and feminism are subject to constant negotiation and change.
“Nothing, absolutely nothing, is too much in a normative understanding, when How To Kill A Dog unfold their art. They are breaking down the boundaries of what one “ought to” allow oneself as a woman of today, while breaking down the boundaries related to how one can go about creating performance art and engage the audience. The liberator- mission is at the forefront – in content, and at the aesthetic and musical level. It is performative, appealing, impertinent and artistically innovative,” says Mette Marcus, director of Bikubenfonden.
How To Kill A Dog includes their audience in radical, loud and convivial ways. It is through the interaction and the collaboration with the audience that the artistic intention and mission achieve its full strength. As an artiststudio, How To Kill A Dog is in possession of a great potential in performing arts, and their flirtation with the medium of film and concerts serves to provide the group with a significant cross-aesthetic platform.
With its broad definition of performing arts, How To Kill A Dog has performed, for instance, at the Heartland Festival in 2022, presenting excerpts from “Lolita Forever”, and the performer, “Dame Dearest”, also known as Emma Sehested Høeg, will be performing the songs from the group’s repertoire at the Vega concert venue. Moreover, How To Kill A Dog is also bound to be the focus of current interest with a upcoming TV series called Killjoy that is scheduled for broadcast on TV2 Zulu – about a woman’s battle for orgasms.