Gallery exhibition - 2019
Kaspar Ludwig
Press Release

Dogs only fly in 3rd class

“157. The part I do remember: that the blue of the sky depends on the darkness of empty space behind it. As one optics journal puts it, "The color of any planetary atmosphere viewed against the black of space and illuminated by a sunlike star will also be blue." In which case blue is something of an ecstatic accident produced by void and fire.”
- except from Maggie Nelson’s Bluets

We’re born instinctively afraid of loud noises and falling. So, understandably, regardless of the number of times we’ve safely flown in an airplane, the primitive foundations of our brains aren’t convinced (and they never will be.) It has something to do with entering ‘the void.’ It’s that point on a boat where you can no longer see land or on a plane when you’re stuck in an endless expanse of clouds- you can’t ground yourself. Where are you? You’re somewhere in a void of blue.

It’s strange though because when you fly in a dream it’s ‘.. a blissful, fulfilling feeling,’ at least according to Kaspar Ludwig. Then when he tries to translate that experience to ‘real-life’ a primitive panic, resistant to reason, ensues.

Have you ever dreamt of flying while on a plane?

Dreams aren’t as simple as we like to reduce them to. No dream is explicitly ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Instead they give you experience with how to deal with various situations in your waking hours. This may seem a bit farfetched when one dreams of talking to a lion or eating glittering, pink clouds, but it’s true. (Besides, you never know what will happen in the Anthropocene.)

Ludwig wonders if his dog dreams of flying. A dog dreaming of flying is just as other-worldly as a human dreaming of soaring through the sky. Neither can, without help, overcome gravity. Both are instinctively destined to be weary of it. But dogs dream just like people. They don’t simply dream of feasting on trash or running from the vacuum cleaner; as we do often reduce them to. They problem solve in their dreams. They’re rehearsing for their waking hours just like us.

Cassidy Toner, Basel, 2019

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