When Does Performance Art Stop Being ‘Art’ and Just Become Weird?

With a minor in contemporary art history and a career that has absolutely nothing to do with the art world, I often find myself wishing I were more disciplined in keeping up with the industry’s latest trends and people to watch. That being said, every now and then I come across some kooky stories that remind me that one needn’t look too far beyond Crazyville to stay abreast in art world happenings, more specifically, in the realm of performance pieces.

Case in point: A French performance artist by the name of Marion Laval-Jeantet has been injecting herself with horse blood as part of a project intended to explore “trans-species relationships.” The series is appropriately entitled Que le cheval vive en moi, (“May The Horse Live In Me”), and also requires the artist to wear a set of stilts with hooves. Walking around with the stilts alongside a donor horse was all part of the “communication ritual” allowing her to feel at one with the animal. After several months, her hybrid blood was extracted and freeze-dried to conclude the piece. You can watch an abstract of the performance here by Art Orienté objet at Kapelica Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

According to an article from Wired, the artist described her experience as “hyper-powerful, hyper-sensitive, hyper-nervous and very diffident.”  She added: “I had a feeling of being superhuman. I was not normal in my body. I had all of the emotions of a herbivore. I couldn’t sleep and I felt a little bit like a horse.”

And so, to honor Laval-Jeantet and the world of performance art, I’ve decided to conduct my own piece. Frustrated by my own Pomeranian’s penchant for tearing through the trash while I’m away at work, I’ve decided to strengthen our bond by switching to a strict diet of kibbles and wearing a leash and collar out in public to delve deep into the psyche of being a domesticated animal.

More to follow…

Posted by Emily

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