20 May – 14 June 2008
Roni Horn (°1955, New York) explores the mutable nature of art through sculptures, works on paper,
photography, and books. She subverts the notion of ‘identical experience’, insisting that one’s sense of self is
marked by a place in the here-and-there, and by time in the now-and-then. She describes her artworks as sitedependent,
expanding upon the idea of site-specificity associated with Minimalism.
For her third solo exhibition at the gallery, Horn has selected two sculptures in glass, the photographic series
Portrait of an Image and several White Dickinson-sculptures.
Opposite of White – v.1 and Opposite of White – v.2 are two circular, almost identical, white-coloured glass blocks of
142 cm diameter and 51 cm high that each weigh more than 2000 kgs. While their frosted sides, still slightly
gritty, bear the minute imperfection with which they have emerged from the moulds, their tops are polished
to a perfect, limpid gloss. Despite their massive forms and their interiors that can only be intuited, the
blocks continuously interact with their environment. Circumstantial differences like the changes of light and
weather, the varying experiences by the individual visitors inscribe the sculptures with a fundamental sense
of motility. By installing both sculptures in separate exhibition rooms, Horn crafts a complex relationship
between the sculptures as well as between the viewer and the work. The sculptures further denote Horn’s
preoccupation with pairs as a favoured format.
Portrait of an Image (with Isabelle Huppert) is a series of 50 photographic portraits of French actress Isabelle
Huppert. The series introduces a new description of the ‘paradox of an actor’ within the oeuvre of Roni Horn
that already involves a continuous play of identities, allusions and inflections. Horn photographed the actress
Huppert in several sequences of five photos each. In each sequence, Isabelle Huppert slips into one of the
characters she portrayed on screen – Erika, Lena, Claire, Charlotte, Dominique, Jeanne, Mika, Isabelle, Marie,
Emma, Beatrice and others – so that her face expresses a personality that does not exists in reality but only in
the film. To do so, however, Huppert had been constrained, not to assume a variety of aspects of the character
but to concentrate on her muscular memory and revisit the physical reflexes of each persona as might an
athlete or a musician.
The White Dickinson sculptures are aluminium bars that carry white sentences within from the published
letters by Emily Dickinson. They express the admiration the artist has for the writings of the American poet.
The texts include WE WENT TO SLEEP AS THOUGH IT WERE A COUNTRY; TO COWER BEFORE A FLOWER IS PERHAPS
UNWISE and FASCINATION IS PORTABLE.
Roni Horn lives and works in New York and Reykjavik. Since more than 20 years, her works have been
included in several solo and group exhibitions in important museums and institutions worldwide. These
include Reykjavik Art Museum in Reykjavik (2007), the Inverleith House in Edinburgh (2006), the Art Insitute
of Chicago (2004), Fotomuseum Winterthur (2003), Centre Pompidou in Paris (2003), the Dia Center for the
Arts (2001), …