1 Day Project
October 23, 2023

Film Screening: Yalda Afsah, CURRO (2023)

Monday 23rd of October, 6pm – 9pm

On October 23rd,  for KIN’s 3rd 1 Day Project we presented CURRO, a film by Yalda Afsah.

CURRO, is a 32 minute film that explores the ritualized taming of wild horses according to the Galician custom Rapas das Bestas, that questions the social construction of masculinity, dependence and alienation from nature through the act of “taming” at play in interspecies relationships. CURRO follows Yalda Afsah’s dedication to these human-animal relationships, a topic the artist has been exploring in her practice since 2018.
In the context of this form of domestication, in which wild horses are herded out of the mountains and into the valley to be sheared and marked by the “aloitadores” (gal. for fighters), the supposed assumption of responsibility for the animal contrasts with the forlornness and disorientation of the human protagonists as they wait in the wilderness; they seem to be out of place, alienated from the natural landscape that surrounds them.

This 1 Day Project was set as a transient show, exhibiting photographic works belonging to the artist’s series Hugs, 2022, along with the film screening, and was followed by a short free-flow conversation Q&A, between the artist, Nicolaus Schafhausen and Inès-Gabrielle Tourlet.


Some additional words about the film:

Curro turns its attention to the violent bid for submission in a centuries-old Galician tradition in which men corral a herd of wild horses in order to trim their manes and tails. Afsah’s seemingly classical narrative arc from anticipation to act charts a taxonomy of gazes, as the viewer might become aware of themselves watching and waiting just as the men and adolescent onlookers do in the film. The ambivalence that permeates Afsah’s work more broadly emerges here in the tension between the crassness of the ritual and the way that she handles it visually and sonically. There’s something tactile in her approach. She often draws out sounds of touch, amplifying the contact between horses pressing closer together, wind moving through leaves, or a boy etching marks into a tree. A subtle tool of reorientation, Afsah’s soundscape is emblematic of her intervention in the seemingly detached posture of the beholder. Her patient observation nods to the durational contemplation of James Benning, with whom she studied in Los Angeles. Ultimately, by excavating displays of hyper-masculinity and teenaged initiation into such performativity, Afsah questions where art sits on the axis between the violence of spectatorship and the generosity of paying attention.
Camila McHugh, for Between Bridges Residency, Berlin


German-Iranian artist and filmmaker Yalda Afsah (b. 1983, Berlin) explores how space can be cinematically constructed as her films profoundly explore the interface between reality and staging.
This formal characteristic of Afsah’s work is conceptually mirrored in her recent portraits of human-animal relationships that  reveal an ambivalence between care and control, physical strength and broken will, instinct and manipulation.
Despite their documentary focus, her films and video installations seem to capture symbiotic choreographies on screen – equally portraying and fictionalising their human and non-human protagonists.
Afsah has presented her work at various exhibitions and festivals including Manifesta 13, Locarno Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Berlinische Galerie, Institute of Contemporary Arts London, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein and recent solo exhibitions included Kunstverein München, Halle für Kunst Steiermark, JOAN Los Angeles.
In 2023 she received the Hans – Purrmann- Prize.


Yalda Afsah, Hug_2, 2022, fine art print on Hahnemühle, 75,1 x 100 cm
Yalda Afsah, Hug_3, 2022, fine art print on Hahnemühle, 107,7 x 120 cm