Text by Sarah Demeuse
Animal farms that specialize in touch therapy developed for autistic children are one of the inspirations for Eduardo Navarro’s project for the 9th Mercosul Bienal. 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 Bienal, 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.