Chien Pirate

"Chien Pirate" 
 In 18th century Le Locle, a frontier town, smuggling was commonplace. To avoid paying customs taxes, smugglers used dogs to smuggle goods such as salt, sugar, coffee, tobacco, cloth, gunpowder, matches, playing cards and gold watches. On moonless nights, hungry dogs with saddlebags and spiked collars would run belly-down through the woods, crossing the Franco-Swiss border over the fords of the Doubs.

By equipping a dog with a unicorn antler, the artist gives the canine the aura of a mythological animal. The dog is on the lookout. Standing on his hind legs, he seems to be searching for his way. Ears perked up, he sniffs the cold air and scans his surroundings. He knows that many perils await him. Fortunately, his guardian angel, a strange owl, is watching over him.

Wearing a mushroom hat, in this case that of a fly agaric, the chimerical bird of prey points to a dragon snake, the embodiment of the many perils that threaten his protégé. After all, the life of a smuggler’s dog is not a quiet & easy one. During their nocturnal gallops, these heavily-laden mutts sometimes tumble off cliffs or are shot dead by customs officers or their master’s rival smugglers, eager to snatch their precious cargo.

Under the psychotropic effect of fly agaric, the « shaman » owl is connected with everything around it. It perceives the visible and the invisible. Its heart-shaped head opens onto the infinite cosmos. Deer antlers add to the creature’s strangeness.

It’s still autumn, but the first snows have already shrouded the ground. Twilight gradually envelops the banks of the Doubs. All that can be heard is the whisper of falling leaves, the splash of water, the dog’s breathing and the cry of crows in the distance. Soon it will be dark, and the hound will take advantage of the darkness to climb the hill and return to his master. On the snow-covered bank, a rabbit frog observes the scene, not afraid to freeze its legs off. 

Many thanks to @exomusee for choosing us for this project, and a special shout out to my friend Dridali for lending a hand painting this artwork
Created on July 14, 2023
Rue du Tertre 6, 2400 Le Locle, Zwitserland
Added by the artist.

Marker details

Festival linkhttps://exomusee.ch/
Date created2023-07-14T22:00:00.000Z
OrganizationExo Musée
Marker typeartwork
CityLe Locle