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Xavier Hufkens


Roni Horn

Roni Horn
Installation views

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 site-dependent, 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 a selection of ‘White Dickinson’-sculptures.

‘Opposite of White – v.1’ and ‘Opposite of White – v.2’ are two circular, almost identical, white- and blackcoloured 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),…

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Installation views