• Gary Bistram
  • Kevin Kling

Holly Hughes is both a performance artist and dog person. She’s an associate professor at the University of Michigan, a Guggenheim fellow, and a regular audience member at dog shows, particularly ones featuring poodles. So it makes sense that Hughes’s new performance series, “Standing Heat,” focuses on the relationships between humans and animals. Although Hughes has always had an interest in animals, her ideas first took shape after her performance piece Dog and Pony, in which Hughes poked fun at the routines and obsessions of dog people, herself included. “I started to realize that people are not just using animals as metaphors or symbols anymore, but really finding new ways to talk about relationships with animals,” she says. “Relationships where animals are fully rounded and developed characters.”