We all know what a cow is.
She functions as a bridge.
There is a similarity between agricultural farms and museums. Both can at times create a feeling of insecurity for those who have not visited a similar place before. Why are the rooms so big? Why does the site feel so coded? What knowledge do I need to understand what I am about to see?
You have two cows traces and points to a number of strategies regarding the role of art in cultural production as it relates to the countryside. In You have two cows, the cow serves as a symbol of complete submission. The cow is both a fantasy and a part of you, as it becomes the food that you eat.
People eat meat and drink milk without ever having met a cow. We must all reconnect with our food production in the global challenges ahead.
When people from different cultures, religions, sexual preferences or whatever stand next to a group of cows their similarity of being a human next to this other animal, outweighs our differences and creates a common ground to walk on.
Would we be more receptive to the story of women’s rights in India as men, or the history of colonialism as white Europeans, when the common factor cattle is added?
So let’s take it from the beginning and build a corral, cover it with art and invite people in, to share a space with cows once more.
Joanna Sandell and Mathieu Vrijman