A Racehorse for ChristmasFestivals of Future Nows, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 2017
A horse is dressed up in a horse costume. His movements during the invention are photographed and filmed. Due to cultural and historical expectations, viewers will assume that they are watching two costumed men. However, certain movements reveal on closer inspection that a horse, not humans, is under the costume that looks like two men dressed as a horse. Based on this initial assumption, A Racehorse for Christmas negotiates aspects of perception, observation, expectation and first impressions. What do we recognize about our own perception when our expectations of what we see are suddenly upended? The horse costume plays with contrasts to enable a dissolution of barriers. This process extends beyond a momentary realization; it begins a chain of reactions marked by doubt and surprise. The trick not only thwarts the viewer’s perspective on the supposedly costumed men but also what he expects from them, even causing a reconsideration of the relationship between animals and humans. Viewers are left to confront a new impression that perpetually challenges their expectations.