Descrizione Opera / Biografia
Focusing on the self-narration and visual language of the mounted police, ‘A horse is a horse of course of course’ reflects on how police horses are treated as just another of the many tools police use for the maintenance of social control systems and their legitimation. While undergoing a special domestication process aimed at suppressing their instinctive flight responses to fear, horses become a means to impose a disciplinary power in return. At the same time, the imagination associated with horses, the fascination and love many people feel for them, often features in the language used by the police to legitimise themselves in the public eye.
The re-enactment proposed in this work aims to critically deconstruct the ambiguity and the fiction inherent to the depiction of horses as a more “efficient” and yet “humane” and “natural” tool to provide security and civilisation. This ambiguity comes back in the mundane objects used for horses’ training; while being extracted from playful contexts, their purpose is to simulate the situations of violence that horses will face in their policing duties.
The two-channel video invites to question the distorted mainstream cultural definition of policing. Engaging with an abolitionist practice, as this work tries to do, also requires to radically decode and refuse the oversimplifying language that police speak.
Cristina Lavosi (Italy, 1993) is a visual artist and researcher currently based in The Hague (The Netherlands). In 2020, she completed her Master degree at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK), The Hague, where her graduation work won the Master Department Award. Her films have been screened at international festivals, such as Kinemastik in Malta and International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Apart from her artistic practice, she is co-founder of First Cut, an artist collective that curates screenings of experimental video art, and she is a member of Filmwerkplaats, an artist-run filmlab in Rotterdam.
Her practice is committed to a transdisciplinary, politically informed, and transformative approach to storytelling. Her research moves in the intersection between visual arts and socio-political discourses, drawing on critical thinking and political theory. Mainly in the form of videos and installations, her work employs re-enactment, field research, archives, and interviews. Her practice is concerned with power structures and institutions of violence, engaging in questioning notions of leadership, authority, order and statecraft overall. She investigates state-led imposition of norms of being and living, and the criminalisation of precarious groups across lines of race, class and gender. She is interested in challenging predominant ideas about archetypes of “proper” existence and the conceptualisation of public safety as punishment and exclusion. Starting from the belief that critical thinking towards these notions needs to primarily develop on a cultural and pedagogical dimension, her practice is committed to research and dissect the ways in which we are told stories about ourselves and our past. It strives to find a way to re-tell historical narratives, and, ultimately, to build new ones drawing from the very existence of those who, under the systems of race, class, and gender disparities, are deemed unfitting with what it is to be “human”. In the attempt to overcome human-centred narratives, her work also aims at including more-than-human agency into discourses of power relations. With her practice, she proposes to trouble the exclusion–by traditional western philosophy–of non-human animals from agency as political beings, looking at how biopower concerns not only human life, but all life in general.