'Be-coming Cow' smells out what has been erased and forgotten in the process of domestication.
means embracing the non-human part in oneself …
means being and coming undone: fluid, open-ended, unbounded …
means living in the rapture of now
whereas taking care of others
is taking care of oneself.
Who do we love?
Why do we love?
How do we love?
Cows know that
there are no others.
'Be-coming Cow’ is a project of Jatun Risba which emerged out of a field research undertaken in collaboration with artist Adam Engler during an art residency at the Cultural Centre Záhrada (“Garden”) in Slovakia in the end of Summer 2020. In this time, the artists spent three days with two cows - Hilda and Linda - in Zaježová-Dolinky for the sake of observing cow’s habits, behaviour and movements. By approaching domesticated cattle as potential teachers, Risba was looking to expand human consciousness to a more-than-human domain in order to become a cow and an animal kin.
Such role reversal brings the master breeder, the human, into the position of be-coming a cow learner. The emerging shift of perspective aims to provoke questions and challenge the human rapport with animals. The question “What teachings can a cow unfold when approached with appreciation and kindness?”, was the driving force behind this human-cow befriending.
This work is part of the artist’s long-term inquiry ‘Be-coming Ki(n)’ which engages in an artistic activity of “growing kin” with other forms of life. During the 'Be-coming Cow' field performance (for cows and one observer: Adam Engler who followed and documented the process), Risba shared kin living space (stable, barn, fields ...) together with cows, corresponding with them as a (cyborg) cow among cows.
At the end of the residency, a 20 min long video of the Be-coming Cow experience was realized and is available upon request only. Access to the full video is limited strictly for professional purposes. Expression of interest can be submitted via email to jatun dot risba at gmail dot com.
A work by and with Jatun Risba.
Video footage and editing: Adam Engler
Video Postproduction: Franco G. Livera
With thanks to Ivan Vikár and his family, Milan Zvada and the Záhrada Cultural Center.