Art Oriente Objet: Performances About Transformation
|May the Horse Live in Me|
|Jeter les Bois|
Performance art duo Art Oriente Objet, comprised of Marion Laval-Jeantet and Benoit Mangin, have put together a number of works whose intent seems to be to blur the perception of others in regards to the performer – is she human or animal?
In their pieces Felinanthropy and Jeter Les Bois, the duo outfit the performer with accessories to change her posture or silhouette to one that is somewhere between that of a human, and that of a cat or deer, respectively. In Felinanthropy in particular, the intent seems to be to communicate with a cat using the body language and positioning of felines, perhaps confusing the cat about the nature of the creature it is interacting with.
May the Horse Live in Me, a later performance, blurs the lines further. After months of preparation, Marion Laval-Jeantet is injected with horse blood, dons hoofed, digigrade leg extensions, and walks around the room in step with a horse. After this, the “hybrid blood” is extracted from her and freeze-dried. Asked about the experience, Jeantet said she felt “hyperpowerful, hypersensitive and hypernervous,” and that “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.” In this piece, the confusion about the performer’s humanity/animality extends to the subject herself. This performance, possibly one of the most literal (and discomfiting) combination of human and animal in contemporary art, can be seen here.
Other works from Art Oriente Objet can be found on their website.
An article about the performance which was the source of the quoted material can be found here.