Today I am starting to write this blog as a public journal, where I will be dwelling on several levels of my transformation: emotional, physiological, psychological, as well as composing the biomedical / biotechnological, biopolitical, sociological and ethical background of the process within the third project in the K-9_topology series, titled: HYBRID FAMILY.
As for the theoretical background of the project, I have invited Jens Hauser for a collaboration as a co-curator, who will be, in a role of a dialogue partner, commenting some levels of the process in a form of public letters on this blog. I am very much looking forward to his profound insights on the project!
I am accompanying the text of my first post with the archive of some moments my father, my mother and I have eternalized by a camera lens. This photographs are the only material memory that retained as my first emotional transfer with the non - human.
My parents and the litter of Una - Scottish Collie (1978)
My parents have been working in leather and fur textile/fashion business which has been for a while registered and produced in our house. Therefore, the olfactory reminiscence of the leather and fur as an every day part of our home, is one of the essential sensorial memories that sealed into my early neural networks. My beloved grandmother, who had been living with us, had been breeding pigs and sometimes rabbits, which she would slaughter once a year.
My father with Una - Scottish Collie, one of her pups and Doca - Cocker Spaniel (1978)
Beside running the leather and fur business all over former Yugoslavia and strongly dwelling into kinology field, my father has been a very keen active wildlife hunter as well as an amateur wine producer and a botanist and -last but not least - a military reserve officer, while my mother has been a leather seamstress and an assistant companion in all of his endeavors. Nevertheless, all of the above mentioned has just been a sort of a scenery behind the main focus of my family - dogs, the almost only agents that enabled sharing some real gentle affections between the three of us.
At the beginning of the 3rd millennium, when the liberal capitalism finally stroke hard into the newborn Slovenian economy, as a consequence, my parents lost their business, house, cars, forests, meadows, vineyards, due to the several mortgages they took during the nineties, to keep our perception of an easy socialistic living of the past eighties artificially alive. As a consequence of that break, my father committed suicide. All of the dogs have either been sold / donated further or escaped into the unknown. That´s at least what my mother and aunt have told me. Although I never fully believed those stories, as I never believed any during the time of other dogs "disappearing". They would usually stay with us (my family) for a couple of years, three at most, and then I would just come home from school one day, and the dog would be gone to an unknown location. The kinship would be broken abruptly accompanied by pain and the void made by the lack of truth which I would mitigate into a new kinship. With a new dog. The dogs have just been one of my father´s compulsive projects. But still, they have always been an appreciative medium for our most of the time unspoken affections. This kind of psychodynamics reminds me of the one Sigmund and Anna Freud have had in their letters regarding their beloved Jofi, the Chow Chow. So much on hysteria (only) in women.
Doca´s puppies (1978)
I have never again stepped into that house, our home, ever since. The whole property at the very border of Schengen has been symbolically vanished, erased; as if fenced with the invisible barbed wire of dark emotions, which are not letting me step into that house ever again. Therefore I feel like a minority, like a refugee, I do feel as an economic migrant who has been searching for it´s secondary home ever since. I feel deterritorialized.
As if I am some kind of a hybrid between a nonnative and a privileged EU citizen at the same time. Not fully becoming either of those two. This is how I became-minor.
Doca - Cocker Spaniel (1980)
Today a dear friend from my childhood wrote me a message on my Facebook page. He said; "Can you imagine Maja, the very place where we have been spending all our childhood summers by the Sotla river (at the so called "Green" Croatian-Slovenian border), has been barbe wired!" I have been feeling as it has been barb wired for almost 14 years already. I am jealous to all those people in my village who have been smart enough to be able to keep their homes during the East - West transition in the nineties. I feel ashamed of that. I want to have enough time and money to become a volunteer, to buy indulgences for, no matter what, still being very much privileged citizen of the EU. But I have been feeling as a refugee of liberal capitalism for many years now and need to re-establish my home by deterritorializing it. Therefore as being a part of that minority
- I feel the need to become-animal
Bas - Newfoundland (1984)
My artistic efforts are clearly connected with concepts developed by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in their books Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature (1975), A Thousand Plateaus (especially Becoming animal, 1980), and elsewhere. In these texts, they criticize the concept of majority. Kafka finds himself at home among neither the Prague Jews nor the dominant German and Austria-Hungarian power structure. There is a connection between what are ordinarily referred to as "minorities" and Deleuze and Guattari's conception of the minor and becoming-minor. If becoming-minor often occurs in the context of what are ordinarily called minority groups then this is because, Deleuze and Guattari argue, becoming-minor is catalyzed by existence in cramped social spaces. The key point not to be missed is that becoming-minor is not related to molar identities, nor is it a politics that seeks representation or recognition of such identities.
Newfoundland puppies, litter - A (1986)
The example of patriarchy provides an illustration of how the concept of "minority" is used: while there may be more women than men numerically, in Deleuze and Guattari's terms, which are sensitive to relations of power, men still constitute the majority whereas women form a minority; and for that matter - a similar collective perception might develop regarding the present European refugee crisis trauma. Thus the concept of "becoming-minor" converges with that of "becoming-woman" ("everyone has to 'become-woman', even women ..."), "becoming-animal", "becoming-molecular", "becoming-imperceptible" and ultimately, "becoming- revolutionary". Each type of affective becoming marks a new phase of a larger process that Deleuze andGuattari call deterritorialization.
Rambo - German Shepherd (1989)
One could argue that, by recognizing myself within the "becoming-animal" discourse, I am submitting myself into the very narcissistic ego-formation. The whole process of K-9_topology series, and especially HYBRID FAMILY is, of course, very much connected with the narcissistic part of myself. But it is as well, a complex journey for me as an artist, who feels the need to observe the complex contemporary dynamics of the external as well as the internal world and comment them out of the very molecular depth of my-self. I believe this is the way to be able to emancipate from a primal patriarchal horde, in Freudian terms, by symbolic murder of the primal father (as the position of power), an action sealed in the origin of society and culture that transitions from savage to fully human ... and, in my case, back to savage. On the very ground of the promised land of Germania.
Since the core intention of the whole K-9_topology project series emerges from the emotional memory of my childhood and youth through the psychodynamic with my family and through that, the perception of home, I am finishing my first post with the text which I wrote for the performance titled: I Hunt Nature, and Culture Hunts Me.
Mak - Yugoslavian shepherd dog (beginning of July 1991)
The total management of my own animality is still human, but the transcendence into a human animal is what I feel truly fulfilling. I don´t have siblings, I am alone, I am not feeling any emotional security … I want to remember when my nightmares were clearer. Until you approach submissively crawling into my bed, although I am your slave.
Nina - Yugoslavian shepherd dog (1994)
You are my emotional crutch, my machine for loving. We compose a hybrid family, a subversive kartel. You and I are hunted by those who lack the capacity of transfer into the intimacy of companionship beyond the anthropological machine discourse of dividing species. Our relationship is a kinship. I am your little sister.
When they tell me to draw my family in kindergarden, I draw you as my beloved brother. I do not erase you
Rot - Irish Red Setter (1992)
even though I am 5 and my first painful cultural encounter towards companion species concept disapproval starts to work, when a teacher tells me severely that a dog is not and can not ever be a part of the human family! We feel and understand each other, lying in a vast tanned skin landscape of dead animals … We dwell into the vast potential of different ways of life exploding.
Ero - German Rough Haired Pointer (1993)
We implode that possibility in fear and rage, resent and animality. We smell death and feel comfortable in the uncanny valley of machined fur listening and knowing how it will end since we want to be sure of what it will cost. I want to keep you alive so there is always the possibility of murder later. I want you to understand that my malevolence is just a way to win. We want the name of our ruiner. I want you to know that being kind is overrated. I want to write my secret across your sky. I like to watch you lose control. … I want your paws and teeth to scar me so I’ll know where you’ve been …
Aika - Miniature Wire-Haired Dachshund (2001)
We get excited when an animal is slathered and therefore we feel sentimental. So sentimental that we can´t wait to taste it´s fear while eating it for dinner. We transcendent fear. We wanted to be there when its hot black rage ripped wide open. We want to taste our own kind: Nature-Culture ends up being one word. We want each others controlling interest. You are my nutrient as I am yours. When I want to strangle the stars for all they promised me, I cry into you, hugging your soft fur and I want you to know my wounds are self - inflicted. I want to be somewhere beautiful when I die, with you, as you embody my intimate emotional memory. I want you to make me understand what is the difference between a child and domesticated animal? Am I a dog? I want to be your dog. I want to stop destroying you but I can’t. This is our intimacy. And I want and I want and I want …