This post is the third installment of our thread on the Moving Matters Traveling Workshop (MMTW), a project that explores migration and mobility by developing artwork, exhibitions, performances and public interventions. In the first installment, anthropologist and writer Helen Faller talked to Susan Ossman, Artistic Director of MMTW and in part two, performance artist Priya Srinivasan reflected on movement.

The Harpin & the Golden Horse

The Hairpin (AB): Do you think that only legs can take you this far? And only four of them for that matter? Look at me, I have none, but I’ve been carried around by two-legged people and I crossed so many borders, and sometimes borders crossed me. If you stay long enough in one place, the borders will surely change. Nobody remembers this and acts as if they are eternal. Sometimes humans build enormous walls to mark the borders too, and make them real. Tell me, how did you get to this museum, to Amsterdam?The Golden Horse (OS): ‘Why’ is not a question to ask. Sometimes life seems like a chain of events you have no control over. There are decisions made elsewhere and you can be stuck in one place or rushed to another, and when asked afterwards if you had a plan, not to look a fool you just make up an answer.

My four legs may come handy when one needs to gallop. But that was never my story. I was born in the mind of a goldsmith and wrought in the flames of his workshop in Alexandria. I was made to accompany my master to his grave. But these origins did not define my destiny. Like you, I crossed several borders, but the first one to traverse was between life and death. From what I see you must know a thing or two about death. What’s that tarnish that spoils your shine? Gold does not rust…

The Hairpin (AB): Blood does. And I have seen more than my share. I have been used as deadly weapon more than once. A disenchanted princess slipped me from her silky hair, straight across the throat of her unsuspecting brother. She then had free reign to expand the territory of the kingdom and rename cities in her family’s honor. Humans love drawing lines with blood. I could tell you so many more stories about how I was caught up in battles about border lines before I was judged so precious that I had to give up an active life and become a part of this collection.

Source: When Anthropologists Act as Artifacts #MMTW – Allegra