Anya Liftig, artist
Pet: Dog
I identify as a bi-species artist and I am currently in the process of transitioning from human to canine. In my work, I try, with increasing difficulty, to insert myself into the natural and manmade world. I want to break though the boundaries of personal solitude and subjectivity with my body. Each project begins with an attempt to do something fearful, something that terrifies me. Often I repeat actions in order to try to push harder and harder past the point of my own comfort. I want the viewer to also challenge their assumptions about what is comfortable, what is right, and what is supposed to make sense. I use humor and parody to explore the subconscious and I believe that performance is a form of psychological research. My actions mostly originate from desires I had as a child, but could not be expressed until now. My artistic process has involved a constant peeling back or formality, a reversion to some more primitive version of the self. These pieces are about the ongoing struggle to connect with people, places and things, and the correlating difficulty of making sense of the world. My work is preoccupied with the need to communicate with other living beings and the frequent failure of that endeavor.

I draw inspiration from a wide swath of sources, including: The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Peter Sellers (both the actor and the composer,) Dogville Comedies, Eva Hesse, William Pope L., The writing of A.J. Liebling, Desmond Morris, Karl Lorenz, Joseph Mitchell, M.F.K. Fisher, John Cheever, Gay Talese, Primo Levi, David Foster Wallace and Margaret Atwood, SCTV, Dan Ackroyd, The Secret Life of Plants, Mythbusters, Garry Winogrand, Barbara Bloom, the film work of Harold Lloyd, Godfather II, The films of Jean Cocteau, Mike Kelley, and Norman Lear.