A journey with my horse Don Orèo in the search of freedom, adventure and abstraction in daily life.
In 2019 Sandra Hauser, gifted with the talent of horse whispering and riding since the age of three, decided to use her personal affinity with these animals in her artistic practice. Since then, Hauser has been immersed in the development of a longterm project “I Would Prefer Not To.”
IWPNT’s genesis and unfolding is closely tied to the co-development of horse and human. The project’s origins lie in the harsh environment of an industrial area in the Rhone Delta, where Sandra Hauser met Don Orèo, a young Cruzado stallion. Over the course of the last two years, artist and horse encounter each other, train each other, experience both development and setbacks and thus create a process. Along the way, notes, an ongoing series of unique photographs’ and abstract fabric canvases exposed to the elements, have emerged.
As part of IWPNT, Sandra Hauser and Don Orèo also undertake journeys, staying for short periods in various locations, beginning in Europe. During the day, Hauser continues her practice and ongoing work process with the horse, meeting people, making discoveries and intervening in places or participating in events related to her trajectory and desire for change. The night can be a space for sudden, unexpected performances on these stages, where a chance passer-by witnesses the dreamlike, illuminated passage of an artist with a horse.
IWPNT not only tells about the socio-cultural imprint on man of the animal or about the contrast between nature and civilization, but carries the connection between man and animal, the dialogue, the consciousness visibly and tangibly into the public space. At the same time it offers a moment that opposes itself to eremitic withdrawal. Hauser formulates questions about freedom in a simple way: What am I entitled to do? What is my counterpart entitled to do? Where is the public space? What is my space? Hauser’s poetic endeavour can be seen as a silent act of opening up the institution or also of withdrawal from the logic of exploitation of art.
The title “I Would Prefer Not To” derives from Melville’s 1853 short story “Bartleby”, which became the official theme of philosopher Slavoj Žižek’s critical theory. Against the background of our Post-Fordist society, which is characterised by a general rigidity and insecurity.