He Shot Dogs, Didn’t He? Otterness’s 1977 Canine Snuff Film

In 1977, he was up to something a little more, er, avant-garde, with his “Shot Dog Film,” for which Otterness, then in his twenties, chained up a small black-and-white dog he had recently adopted, and then killed it.

a little interview with the artist about the film after the jump

The Dog Shot film was made before the four fight films. It’s about fucking someone… getting fucked by someone. That’s what the fight films are about too. Running over someone; defeating someone; being defeated. They’re the same thing those two films.

– Tom Otterness

Tom Otterness, Still from Golden Gloves Fight Film, 1978

Tom Otterness, Still from Golden Gloves Fight Film, 1978

You said earlier that when you showed Dog Shot Film at the screening room at 42nd Street that you wanted to hurt the viewers.

Yeah, I mean that whole night on 42nd Street, as best as I could do it, was the most aggressive way I could think of to show a film, the most damaging thing that I could do to the audience by showing a film. I hired a photographer with a camera so when people were leaving the theater, they were assaulted by a flash, attacked.

Why do you want to assault the audience?

You understand that. That’s not a question you would ask me if the tape wasn’t going. Its Soho, you know. People sleep a lot. They are not often awake.

You wanted to add something in the interview here…

Yeah, just a statement that the dog film was not allowed to be shown in the context of this Punk Art show.

Why do you want to say that?

Well, I think it will change the way people look at what was accepted into the catalogue. I think it changes it a lot. It changes the color of all the other photographs. It means that all the other photographs in the catalogue are acceptable and that the dog film wasn’t.

Which probably means you are the most extreme…

Yeah, I think so. It must be… it must define it.

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1 Comment

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One response to “He Shot Dogs, Didn’t He? Otterness’s 1977 Canine Snuff Film

  1. kristin

    “a little interview with the artist about the film after the jump”
    When was this interview done?

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