5 min read: Every dog has its day
We explore the probing question at the heart of a glowing neon work by Danish trio SUPERFLEX
Large, luminous LED letters mounted on a wall with a simple but perplexing message – EVERY DOG HAS ITS DAY. The work is from a text-based series of installations created in 2019, by a group of three Danish artists from Copenhagen, who have worked together since 1993. Measuring 37 x 120 cm, the fluorescent letters are striking, hitting the spectator’s eye like an advertising slogan on top of a skyscraper.
It is unusual for us to see a well-known type of speech written on the wall. The sentence is normally spoken to cheer up an unlucky fellow and not addressing an anonymous public. The disaccord is irritating and keeps hold of our attention. We get more and more involved. The longer we look at the work the less the phrase is encouraging us. The certainty of the promise vanishes. The cool beauty of the all-white slogan is revealing its emptiness and starts to fade. It is frustrating our hopes like the deceptive packaging of a product, when we buy something, full of expectation, and then later discover the bluff of its wrapping.
These kinds of buzzwords belong to our daily life and language in the same way as neon writings belong to the appearance of modern cityscapes and advertisments. They are stereotype signs of nowadays superficial way of life.
But while we are reflecting about the sense or nonsense of using neon signs, a far more existential question arises when we are looking at the phrase and its word for word meaning. Behind the kind facade of the harmless message an abyss emerges.
In this case it is not the question about our personal or common fortune. With this work SUPERFLEX questions if the time of man is coming to its end. It questions if it is time to give other species more space. Has mankind had its opportunity and lost it in the meantime?
Human activity left an incisive impact on the ecosystems of our planet since the industrial revolution at the end of the nineteenth century. The planet is not in a good condition, as it turns out the Anthropocene is one of the most destructive geological epochs to it. The sugary assurance that is shining into the room is leaving a sour taste. By linking everyday sayings with a common advertising practice – mounting the slogan in LED letters on the wall – SUPERFLEX gives the statement a new meaning and awakens our curiosity about its true context.