man-calf

January 12, 2009

posted by caroline picard

though unasked and likely unwanted, i thought i’d write a review about the following youtube video.

the other night at the elephants opening, a friend mentioned a video piece she’d seen where an artist gets reborn through a cow. i was pretty excited by the idea–it sounded strange and primal, recalling ideas about the minotaur and people who fetishize livestock. what seemed especially interesting about this story was that the usual fetish is inverted–rather than being penetrated by the animal; a man wanted to pass through it–something that recalled in my imagination josef beuys’ shamanic performances with coyotes and, even, the contemporary fashion of feral, peter pan, moccasin-and-unicorn-loving youth.

i was totally disappointed in the piece. while already controversial in the way it uses an animal’s body, the artist (if he is one) seems more preoccupied with being cool than anything else. It doesn’t feel like he’s making the most of the opportunity. (dumbshit sunglasses–) people in other places on-line have suggested the piece as a good ad for sunglass companies. they are probably right, because the sunglasses serve as an absurd focal point–essentially defensive as you can’t  see the fellow’s eyes. i can’t help  feeling like the aesthetic of cool functions like a defensive coat with which to hide a more legitimate and unconventional  desire to be reborn in this way (via cow).

What redeems the video a little is the man running around afterwards; otherwise though, I just think, poor cow.

*

Of similar note, there was a documntary that came out a few years ago called “Zoo,” in which a group of middle-aged men practiced sex with horses. You can read some reviews here and here (Time Magaine).

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