Indepth Arts News: |
2001-05-30 until 2001-08-19
Irish Museum of Modern Art
Horn comprises 15 works, selected personally by the artist for the New Galleries at IMMA, and
includes installations, mechanised sculptures and painting machines, as well as Hornís entire film
oeuvre being shown together for the first time. The show is Hornís first substantial exhibition in
Ireland and forms part of an exciting and varied programme being organised by the Museum to
mark its tenth anniversary at the end of May. The exhibition is organised in cooperation with the
Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, Stuttgart.
Rebecca Horn explores Hornís most frequently recurring themes Ė sexuality, human vulnerability
and emotional fragility Ė and illustrates the richness and complexity of her work. Her early works
focus on her body and senses, frequently incorporating performances and elaborate costumes.
'The Feathered Prison Fan'1978, featured in her film 'Der Eintanzer',dates from this period. Made
up of an exotic circle of ostrich feathers, it creates a warm, seductive environment in which to nestle
only to snatch away these reassuring sensations as the fan snaps shut.
In the late 1970s and early Ď80s Horn began to move away from body-centred art into more
narrative work including a greater use of film. She used film initially to document her performances
but since then has developed it into a new sphere of work, producing several feature films. The
exhibition includes documentation of some 30 well-known performances, among them 'Unicorn',
1970; 'White Body Fan', 1972, 'Cockatoo Mask', 1973, and 'Berlin Exercises', 1974/5. Feature films
such as 'La Ferdinanda: Sonata for a Medici Villa', 1981, and 'Busterís Bedroom', 1990, are also
The association between sculpture and film, which continues to be a key element of her work, is
fully explored in the exhibition in works such as 'Time Goes By', 1990, in which 40,000 metres of
developed Hollywood film, thermometers, binoculars and copper snakes are presented in a
mechanised installation in homage to tragic-comic actor Buster Keaton, whose shoes form the
central focus of the installation. 'Painting Machine', 1988, represents another aspect of Hornís work
in which ink and champagne are pumped out of two funnels into a spraying device which wildly
flings random splashes of the liquid against the wall.
In the past decade Hornís work has expanded to include installations at various, often historically
significant, sites around the world. One of her most celebrated works, 'Concert for Buchenwald',
1999, an installation in two parts, was originally located in a castle and old tram depot near the site
of the concentration camp in Weimar. In a room lined with compressed ash, symbolising the dead,
a small carriage repeatedly crashed into a pile of musical instruments, representing human bodies,
while elsewhere a concerto made up of the buzzing of bees and the smashing of a mirror is heard
Ė both elements a response to the horrific events associated with that place. A work from this
installation comprising a motorised cello and conductorís baton, positioned at a window as if
conducting the landscape, is included in the exhibition at IMMA.
Born in 1944, Rebecca Horn has had her work exhibited in many leading museums and galleries in
Europe and America. The winner of a US Carnegie Prize in 1988, she has two rooms dedicated to
her work at Tate Modern. In 1994 a major survey exhibition was shown at the Solomon R
Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands; Neue
Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; and the Tate Gallery and Serpentine Gallery,
London. Horn has been included in many major international group exhibitions, such as Sculptur
Project, Munster, 1997 and 1999, and Documenta, Kassel, 1986 and ROSC í88, Dublin. She lives
and in Paris and Berlin and travels extensively.
Variations of this exhibition have toured to Santiago de Compostella, Spain, and Nimes, France,
before being shown at IMMA, and will travel to Budapest, South America and Japan afterwards. The
artist has made new selections of works for each venue in response to their spaces and