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Hurting Horses

Robert Morris
mfc-michèle didier
Artists' Books
16.5 × 23.5 × 1 cm

In HURTING HORSES Robert Morris, the minimalist artist uses the medium of writing to pay tribute to horses. His particular attraction to this animal was already apparent in 1969, with the performance of “Pace and Process”, in which he rode one horse after another until he was exhausted, thus reversing the principle of the horse-race. This book is divided into twelve chapters. In the first chapter entitled Fathers and Sons, Robert Morris returns to his own genealogy. The paternal branch of the family, attached to the rural world, puts the young boy in contact with the world of animals and more specifically the world of horses. Chapter III Wrangling is a short story, and its lines of dialogue and short scenes have a cinematographic character seen through the prism of Keatonian comedy. The history of the horse – because there is one – is closely related to the story of civilization. In Chapter VI, History Lessons, Robert Morris elaborates with great erudition a typology of the equine race through the ages and across the continents, but ends the subject in a surprising way: with a quiz! HURTING HORSES keeps on surprising us. On top of a display of scholarship about an unusual subject in the world of art, the book takes the reader by surprise with a number of hilarious passages. This is illustrated in particular by the exquisite Chapter IV entitled The Large and the Small, a subtly dialogued parodic variation on Animal Farm by George Orwell, a novel which is itself a political satire. In HURTING HORSES the artist uses a distinct literary style from one chapter to another, from autobiography to historical essay, from satirical parody to the fantastic, from letter to fiction, from detailed report to visionary daydream. These masterly pieces of literature are haunted by the great American foundation myths and establish a series of crucial links between myth and history, history and art, and art and nature. Limited edition of 1500.

  1. Hurting Horses

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