Art Orienté Objet (Marion Laval-Jeantet & Benoît Mangin) May the Horse Live in Me!

health, identity, stigma, taboo

Human or animal?

The performance May the Horse Live in Me! is an attempt at bioart and extreme body art in which an animal body, in this case a horse, is hybridised with the human body through an injection of horse’s blood. Far from a fatal intrusion, such as that of the mythological hero Midas (said to have committed suicide by drinking bull’s blood), the idea is to carry out genuine therapeutic research, whereby the horse’s blood is made compatible and has a positive effect. Artist, Marion Laval-Jeantet has experimented with various different horse tissue immunoglobulin, which recognise the targeted tissues and induce a functional regulation of these tissues that is specific to them.

This ceremony of blood-brotherhood raises a debate on barriers between species and the supposed priority of humans over animals when it comes to Earth’s resources. A behavioural researcher, a horse and the two artists took part in the one-hour performance in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2011. Prior to the performance, a lead-in time of ten days was necessary for Marion and the horse to become accustomed to one another.

This work was displayed as part of Blood: Not for the faint-hearted at Science Gallery Dublin.

Film and relics of original performance, 2011
Image: Courtesy of the artists

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The Artist: Art Orienté Objet (Marion Laval-Jeantet & Benoît Mangin)

Art Orienté Objet is a collaboration of Marion Laval- Jeantet and Benoît Mangin. They suggest that their collaboration “resembles that between a playwright and a stage director who are in constant dialogue.” May the Horse Live in Me ! is both a performance and extreme body art where Marion is hybridised with a horse through the mixing of their blood. In their work they can be considered as social observers or as anthropological artists, who promote experimentation on systems that they formally analyse.