This important moment occurred some centuries back, specifically in 1769, when a wonder horse named Eclipse broke all records. At 72 km/h, it was—to this day—the fastest racehorse ever to cross the finish line: “Eclipse the first, the rest nowhere.” Since its ongoing success ruined the betting market, it had to be expelled from horseracing. This unique stallion was immortalized twice over: first, through breeding, with about 80% of today’s racehorses now containing his genes, and second, captured by the most famous animal painter of his time, George Stubbs.
In 2012, Katrin Hornek also sent a legend into the race, at exactly the same speed as Eclipse, namely a Ford Mustang shooting over a self-chosen line: an ordinary highway speed trap. The snapshot created in this way shows the driver wearing an old-fashioned riding cap. Like Eadweard Muybridge, Katrin Hornek attempted here to visually capture something using speed, which otherwise escapes our sensory perception. In the case of the automobile, what is captured covers far more than the suspension phase of a horse’s gait: it is a myth which, although fed by countless faded stereotypes, is ultimately difficult to deal with. The myth of freedom.
Text: Eva Pichler