67x52cm, sanguine pencil on khadi paper
This drawing portrays the first scene of Béla Tarr’s last film – 2011 – which opened to general acclaim from film critics. This philosophical drama begins by the event which led Nietzsche to madness definitively. In Turin, on January 3rd 1889, he saw the driver of a hansom cab having trouble with a stubborn horse. Despite all his urging, the horse refused to move, whereupon the driver lost his patience and took his whip to it. Nietzsche came up to the throng and put and end to the brutal scene, throwing his arms around the horse’s neck, and sobbing. His landlord took him home, where he lied motionless and silent for two days on a divan, until he muttered the obligatory last words: ‘’Mutter, ich bin dumm!’’ [‘’Mother, I am stupid!’’]. He lived for another ten years, silent and demented, cared for by his mother and sisters. Béla Tarr adds in his introductory words at the beginning of the film, which picks up the narrative immediately after these events: ‘’We do not know what happened to the horse’’. His film is a meticulous description of the life of the driver of the hansom cab, his daughter and the horse. It depicts how the driver, his daughter, and the horse, live in an unknown area, seemingly isolated from other people. The pair’s daily routine is established as the film progresses, using white text on a black screen as a transition for each day. The two encounter problems are shown trying to leave, though the camera does not follow them as they go, but shows them as they are coming back for unknown reasons. The pair are shown trying to complete their daily routine, but are unable to, and clearly distraught. Eventually even the lights go out in the house and the screen fades to black, leaving the fate of the two undetermined.