Horsing around Inside and Outside
Last week, I wrote about the strange dual-natured relationship that horses and humans seem to enjoy. Horses are often portrayed as a friend, companion, partner, and as a disposable beast, object or mere chattel in books, film, and popular media. I also teased Jasha Lottin‘s story and her relationship with a horse last week. It is quite simple to see her story. Lottin bought a 32 year-old horse that was near death. It was already being euthanized. It was apparently killed instantly and painlessly by the high-powered rifle they used. Lottin, a Star Wars fan and nudist, set up a photo shoot with the horse. In the next post, I will be discussing the photos she took with the horse. These photos are too gory. There is also some nudity. Be discreet. After the break, it is not safe to work.
Lottin is seen here, tucked in the horse–Skywalker-style. She has replaced the horse’s blood and organs. Her smiley face peeks out from near the horse’s back legs. Although it is not certain if the horse has sex with her, in both cases she takes over its genitals. Photos with Lottin inside tend to show that there is no horse or human in these photos. Together, they’re an inverted centaur, composed within and upon a horse’s body. We must remember that the combination is not equal. Although she placed herself in the horse’s belly, it was Lottin who consumed the horse literally and metaphorically.
These images of Daenerys eating a bit of horse meat are strange. Last week, I wrote about Daenerys ritualistic consumption and sacrifice of horse heart. The horse was not visible, but she was glowing and bloody. Lottin’s intake, however, isn’t as full of pop or has the same flair. Her bloody hands look like she dipped them in red corn syrup. The horse she pulls on seems insignificant and small. Her representation is banal, and forces viewers to recall the embodied reality she represents. These photos show an actual woman, an actual horse, and an actual death.
Lottin smiles broadly in almost all the photos.
Lottin is pictured here with her friend, unnamed, holding the horse’s heart. Both grinning, they hold the heart up in what must be a pretty common hunter’s-fresh-kill-trophy pose (I’ve taken any number of such pictures while fishing). These pictures are fascinating because of her constant smile. This event has no gravity, no sadness, no remorse, or any sense of guilt. Lottin was reported by the authorities after she posted these photos. They found no violations of laws. Her smile is what people found most shocking. That smile–a fixed, reflexive, universal smile–is what people found so shocking. There is no room for anything other than the quick acknowledgment of these photos, which are simple snap shots of (what many considered) grotesque activity.
Lottin is naked and covered with blood. He may have just emerged from the horse’s body. However, this photo subverts any notion of hybridization or actual relationship between Lottin, the horse, and Lottin. Although she has killed and eaten the horse, there is no connection beyond a superficial one. As she gazes down at the horse, the blood still remains. What can she do to make her stand out from the film spectacles of last week? Although her horse was specifically killed to make the photos is all she has is a prop.