Reflection of the rock in the water mirror surface created a spiritual portal to a higher, transcendent world, which presented itself “upturned” also in the belief world of some other natural cultures. A shaman, a witch, when going into a trance, could move unobstructed in this three-layer world safeguarded by their animal-shaped familiar or in its form.
Timo Miettinen & Heikki Willamo: Pyhät kuvat kalliossa, (Sacred images on the rock), 2007.
Self-awareness is often researched with the help of the mirror test developed by Gordon Gallup. A colour spot is placed on the face of an animal, or on any other area of the body the animal cannot normally see. Then the behaviour of the animal in front of the mirror is observed; whether it tries to remove the spot or touches it, which would indicate that the animal perceives the reflected image as itself. Many so-called intelligent species pass this test. Over fifty percent of human children generally pass this text at approximately 2 years of age.
Com Scire piece is based on the mirror test and self-awareness proven or unproven by it – as humans usually think of intelligence and awareness from the human-point-of view. Horses are not considered qualified in the mirror test because being a quarry they are not supposed to be intelligent enough to pass it, although some of them might indeed perceive their reflection in the mirror. The art work makes an attempt to introduce the horse&human common mirror experience and seek into the cultural and spiritual narrative, where the mirror is thought to be representing the parallel reality and spiritual portal. What would you see in this parallel reality when looking at it together with a horse and imagining what the horses are experiencing?
The video was shot together with a horse herd at Perhekoti Toiska, in Koskenkorva, Ilmajoki, Finland. It was premiered in Kunsthalle Seinäjoki exhibition called ´What is it like to be an animal?’ 26.8.2020 – 9.1.2021. Please see also article of the piece in Research in Arts and Education journal, Together to Know: In search for Equus Spiritual Experience https://doi.org/10.54916/rae.126190
Warmest thanks of all the love and muscle power that make this piece possible:
Leo, Jussi, Vormu, Harri, Fiira ja Roleksi, Keijo Viertoma, Teea Ekola, Tiina Tuominen, Jouko Rissanen and the Perhekoti Toiska staff,
Juhani ja Aulikki Keski-Korsu,
Ada ja Laura Beloff, Erich Berger,
Kunsthalle Seinäjoki staff: Sanna Karimäki-Nuutinen, Pii Anttila, Elina Teitti, Miika Vainionkulma and Alan Bulfin.
Funded by The Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Kunsthalle Seinäjoki,
and Perhekoti Toiska.