I have always perceived the Azawakh through the antipodal prism of passion and abstraction.
Over the past several years, primarily out of an admittedly obsessive compulsion, I have attempted to raise awareness of the unique and extraordinary qualities of the Azawakh. Through visual displays and contextual references, I have alluded to the aesthetic and moral ideals that have driven the evolution of my thinking about and understanding of them.
Part of my mission has been to pro-actively and subliminally influence others' perceptions: I wanted others to see them the way I saw them. Without reservation, I shared my fascination and admiration for them. Without doubt, some part of my motivation stemmed from innate selfishness, because a world without Azawakh, as I understood, admired and loved them, was simply unacceptable to me.
It was perhaps egoistic that I perceived myself to be an integral part of the struggle to maintain the omneity and type of the aboriginal Azawakh. The bottom line: I was ever only a part of a community and continuum of breeders, owners and enthusiasts. Though my approach to breeding and raising the dogs may have appeared unorthodox by western standards, as anyone who knows me knows, I have never been a fan of standards.
Maybe like many people, and especially artists, my need to share what I had accomplished was partly an extension of a need to share some part of myself. To me it made perfect sense, if until now only subconsciously: if people loved my dogs then by default they loved me as well.
There exists always the challenge to reinvent, redefine and refine one's aesthetic. But within this challenge lies the seed of unjustifiable nihilism. When one begins to see everything in black and white--when one believes there is only one truth--much is missed. And when self-assurance--the absence of doubt--approaches arrogance, much is lost.
Had I been telling only my story--one shaped by my personal experiences with the Azawakh--I would not have told it. Naturally the larger story of the Azawakh eclipses my own.
I will always see each and every Azawakh as intrinsically valuable, regardless their attributes.
As well, each represents a different shade of color on a priceless if attenuated genetic palette, and each a familial thread of the warp and weft of the carpet of ancestry and ascent of a primordial yet noble race of dogs.
I want to believe that I never enthusiastically embraced exhibitionism. If my desire to inform and teach is hubristic and mundane, it is nonetheless firmly rooted in an even more intense and pure desire to learn, Insh'Allah.
Can I still learn?
Life is a test.