horses don’t lie

Eduardo Navarro: horses don’t lie (Hero image)

9th Mercosul Biennial
Porto Alegre, Brazil
Curated by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy
Alec Oxenford Collection

Catalog Text by Sarah Demeuse

Animal farms that specialise in touch therapy developed for autistic children are one of the inspirations for Eduardo Navarro’s project for the 9th Mercosul Biennial. Through tactile contact with animals, this treatment aims to develop a sense of trust and empathy in the participants. The artist’s focus on autism, proposes us to understand this condition ‘as a possibility rather than a limitation.’ If traditional psychoanalysis interprets autism as an inability to form a self, and as the incapacity to relate to other humans, Navarro invites us to consider instances of human-animal encounter, where the emphasis on a subject/self recedes into the background. To create ‘Horses Don’t Lie’ for the 9th Biennial, Navarro works together with choreographers from Porto Alegre in a performance that explores a mode of thinking through mental images that cancels out verbal language and arrives at a trancelike state. This installation presents the attire created for the five dancers that participate in the performance. These attires, which are in part minimal mechanical devises informed by equine anatomy, are less a costume resembling a horse than a kind of human-animal prosthesis.
Sarah Demeuse

↓ The next video is a walking meditation rehearsal that took place in Porto Alegre as the work was being developed. This meditation technique allowed the dancers to focus on the present and and consequently think in pictures, like animals do according to Temple Grandin, who inspired this work. In her book “Thinking in Pictures” she explains how her autism allowed her to understand animal behavior. She feels and observes her surroundings without concepts getting in the way of her perception. Being a Horse meant thinking in pictures and this could be only accomplished by being in the absolute present where no concepts take place. Walking meditation allowed the body to sync with the mind, consequently reaching an imperceptible slow movement.

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