Diane Rouxel, Janna Tatarova, Al Acelitos, Simon Lazarus, Mogli Rash, Woody Van Tassel, Tendo Wong Biing, Jack Tezam
The Road Dogs pack was formed in 2010 on the banks of the Rhine River in Alsace. They are stray dogs, a pack of French, Russian and American “Black Knights ” who dictate their own customs and initiation rites. Seeking adventure and new territories, the Road Dogs travel by freight train, hitchhiking or by foot, occupying empty houses or building temporary camps in forgotten places. At each expedition, the pack uses monikers as a trace of its passage.
The Road Dogs make their operations known through videos, publications and installations under the name « Campagne des Chiens de la Route » (Road Dogs Campaign). Their journeys are an ode to freedom and adventure. Sharing these experiences is meant to sow some libertarian needs, encourage others, tear down walls and open up new playing fields on the map. Travelling on freight trains has since become a more common practice in Europe, and several new packs have formed across all parts of the continent.
With STR8 OUTTA THE FR8, the Road Dogs are erasing the boundaries between the reality of their travels and the reproduction of their experiences through exhibitions. Instead of keeping action and exhibition apart, as is so often the case, they decided to make the exhibition an integral part of the journey and vice versa.
The operation in question consists of getting from the Road Dogs’ headquarters in Paris to COLAB Gallery on the night of the opening by catching a freight train, hitching a ride or walking. Once arrived at their destination, the pack will empty its bags and « spill it all out », laying out the instant photographs, sketches, monotypes and writings it will have produced on the way, and then start organizing, in situ, the dusty source material to be used for a new publication afterwards.
The classification stage of the different research, selection of Polaroïds and artifacts, discussions and travel stories, will in itself be subject to documentation and will end up as part of the final layout. The arrival of the Road Dogs at the COLAB Gallery thus creates the impetus to a « happening » that forms the last step of this journey/performance.
OPERATION SOLEIL BLEU
Diane Rouxel , Mogli Rash,Tendo Wong Biing
Obsessed with reaching the French Atlantic coast, a small Road Dogs team heads west to hit the ocean and complete the initiation of a new member, Diane. Over the course of this journey and through its chronicles, the travelers will lift the veil on a region yet unexplored by its members. To fulfil its mission, they improvise and bounce around from train cemeteries to deserted industrial zones and unlikely encounters.
OPERATION ZONE INSULAIRE
Woody Van Tassel, Simon Lazarus, Jack Tezam
After hitchhiking their way from an island, our heroes hope to spend the rest of their summer on a freight train but end up stuck in the middle of an industrial zone for several days… With nightfall they find shelter in a boxcar at the center of one the largest train yards in France. This photography book shares the landscapes that freight rides often travel through: standard housings, superstores, abandoned concrete, ailanthoides, butterfly bushes, rail roads and highways.Despite failure and the impossibility to get on a freight train, they come to find in such outskirts some of the unknown they seek.
OPERATION TONNERRE DE L‘EST
Jack Tezam , Mogli Rash,Tendo Wong Biing
The Road Dogs’ idea behind this lightning expedition was to freight hop to Germany for Mogli’s initiation ceremony, then sneak onto one of Deutsche Bahn’s red wagons and push on further east. But as always with this type of journey, things didn’t happen as planned… Film photographs and texts report this crazy ride off the beaten tracks.
OPERATION MUR DE L’ATLANTIQUE
Jack Tezam, Simon Lazarus,Tendo Wong Biing
At first, this operation had neither a name nor a goal. Leaving from Poitiers’ rail yard was a random choice… But the Atlantic blockhouses slowly ended up leading this adventure. The squad was split in two : while Jack Tezam & Tendo Wong Biing were out on the field, Simon Lazarus stayed at the HQ with the mission to document the information he received by SMS for the operation report.