Flesh, Bones, and Meat: Approaching the Becoming-Cow in Julio Medem’s Cows

Xi Li

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference proceeding


This paper takes as the starting point the lifelong obsession of the protagonist for the cow that further introduces an uncanny relationship of symbiosis between man, cow, and camera in Julio Medem’s Cows/Vacas (1992). Enlightened by Deleuze’s and Guattari’s writings on becoming- animal in A Thousand Plateaus (1980) and Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation (1981), this paper explores how moving images depict this strange entanglement between the cow and the protagonist as well as three generations of two families in a way that resonates with Deleuzo- Guattarian becoming-animal. In particular, this paper examines how cinematic devices present the human body and animal body in an intriguing and deconstructive way and how the camera continuously switches between the points of view of human, cow, and camera in Cows. By employing a delicate close reading of moving images, this paper argues that Cows exemplifies the embodiment of Deleuzo-Guattarian becoming-animal in cinema by virtue of cinematic devices and further presents a becoming-vasca (Basque) by providing an alternative beyond- human perspective to revisit Basque history and identity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities 2023 Official Conference Proceedings
PublisherThe International Academic Forum
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)2186-229X
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2023
EventThe 14th Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities, ACAH 2023 - Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 26 May 202329 May 2023

Publication series

NameThe Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities Official Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)2186-229X


ConferenceThe 14th Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities, ACAH 2023
Internet address

User-Defined Keywords

  • Becoming-Animal
  • Deleuze
  • Julio Medem
  • Cows/Vacas
  • Basque


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