Art Orienté objet, a French artistic known for its exploration of trans-species relationships and questioning scientific methods and tools has staged one of the most shocking experiments ever – injecting a human being with horse plasma.
For this latest project, entitled Que le cheval vive en moi (May the horse live in me), Marion Laval Jeantet, one of the members of Art Orienté objet, was injected with horse blood, which made her feel “extra-human”. This shocking event took place in February, but Marion spent several months preparing her body, by injecting herself with small doses of horse immunoglobulins, the glycoproteins that flow through the blood and function as antibodies in immune response. The French artist called this process mithridatization, after Mithridates IV of Pontus, who is said to have developed an immunity to poisons by gradually ingesting small doses of them.
In February, after building up her tolerance to animal compounds, Marion Laval Jeantet was injected with horse plasma containing the full spectrum of foreign immunoglobulins, and didn’t go into anaphylactic shock. Horse bodies by-passed her body’s defense mechanisms, and entered her blood stream where they bonded with her human proteins. This synthesis affected her bodily functions and even the nervous system for weeks after she was injected. The artist recalls: “I had the feeling of being extra-human. I was not in my usual body. I was hyper-powerful, hyper-sensitive, hyper-nervous and very diffident. The emotionalism of an herbivore. I could not sleep. I probably felt a bit like a horse.’
After the blood transfusion, Marion put on stilts resembling horse legs and performed a communication ritual with a real horse, before a sample of her blood was extracted and freeze-dried. Que le cheval vive en moi was a radical experiment whose long-term effects cannot be calculated. represents a continuation of the centaur myth, that human-horse hybrid which, as “animal in human,” symbolizes the antithesis of the rider, who as human dominates the animal. The project is being featured at the Second Lives: Jeux masqués et autres Je art show, at the Casino de Luxembourg, in Luxembourg.