Becoming – horse

 

This action was inspired by reflection on the process of becoming a subject in general, and specifically on becoming-animal. Becoming is always becoming-other, and the animal is the great other that is inside and outside of us at the same time. There is no imitation in becoming. It is not a matter of imitating the posture or language of the animal, as becoming-animal does not involve departing from the human. In fact the subjects of this relationship are both in a process of becoming, and their encounter creates unprecedented forms of life or images that have nothing to do with the original polarities. Deleuze clearly illustrates becoming through two stories: that of Ahab and Moby Dick, when in their final struggle the captain and the whale converge and become a foaming “white wall”; and that of Alexis the Trotter (which inspired this performance) who could muster a perfect imitation of a horse but was never as much of a horse as when he played the harmonica. The becoming-horse of Alexis the Trotter does not happen when he neighs or trots, but only at night, when he plays his harmonica in the taverns, away from the stables, because he does it with the passion and abandonment we recognize in animals. Because he plays heart-wrenching high notes and tunes, with the iron instrument in his mouth that cuts his lips and makes them bleed like a horse’s bit.

 

m.f. 2013