Less common are William Wegman’s early video works, including “Two Dogs and a Ball,” which is part of the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago. The film is less than three minutes long. In it, a pair of Weimaraners sit calmly side by side, their eyes locked on the movement of a tennis ball that someone is handling off-screen. The dogs are rapt and their “performance” is mesmerizing, a little creepy — and hilarious.
The video has been watched more than 73,000 times on YouTube, where it feels like a natural fit because dogs.
It is one of several works of film and video you can find online that are part of the Art Institute’s collection. Only recently have they been organized (unofficially) into a single YouTube playlist, courtesy of Chicago-based critic Kevin B. Lee, who is pursuing graduate studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.