Untitled (Yes) - 1 (2/2) - 2002
glass, 122 x 74 x 46 cm
Questions of difference and identity, stasis and change are the foundation stones of Roni Horn's practice. In her new exhibition at Xavier Hufkens, Roni Horn is manifesting these concerns by means of a sparse but meaningful installation with four sculptures and two large photographic works.
"Untitled (Yes) - I" (2000), the point of departure of the installation, is a crystal clear, glass block that, despite its massive form, continuously interacts with its environment. Circumstantial differences like the contingencies of light and weather, the visitor's personal experience inscribe the sculpture with a fundamental sense of motility. Although the form of the sculpture is made finite by slowly solidifying molten glass into a firm, solid state, the casting and cooling process is leaving numerous details. Its final appearance betrays undeniably a certain level of contingency and unpredictability.
"Blake's Burn" (1994-1995) has two identical units in solid aluminium that each bear the text TIGER, referring to the poem "The Tyger" by William Blake: "Tyger, Tyger, burning bright, In the forest of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry, "
The two symmetrical objects reflect both the literal content of the poem and its intrinsic meaning: the evocation of a natural but fluent balance of good and evil in man. Above that, "Blake's Burn" is a beautiful example of Horn's continuous preoccupation with pairs as a favored form.
"Her, Her, Her and Her" (2001-2003), was photographed in a locker room in Reykjavik. Sixty-four one foot square black-and-white photographs printed on paper are assembled, quilt-like, into an 8' x 8' unit. This unit is paired with a complementary assembly of sixty-four images shifted in both time and space. The two units are hung opposite to each other. The cool aesthetics of the building material, the precisely calibrated architecture and the anonymous signs on the changing cabins contrast sharply with the individuality and intimacy of the fragmentary parts of the body photographed in a transitory place.
The American poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) was the inspiration for the "Key and Cue"-works by Roni Horn. "Key and Cue" are aluminium bars that carry the first lines from Dickinson poems and are complete statements in themselves. The exteriors of the aluminium tell what is inside, just as Dickinson's poems revealed her inner life. The works chosen for this exhibition "Seen in the Distance" (1999) and "Great Distances after Sunset" (1999) differ from their counterparts in the sense that they do not lean against the wall but are hung horizontally at a considerable height; an action that is inspired by the evocation of the distance/ the horizon in both poem lines.
Exhibition: 20 November 2003 - 17 January 2004
Gallery hours: Tue-Sat 12 - 6 pm
Xavier Hufkens Gallery
Sint-Jorisstraat 6-8 Rue Saint-Georges
Telefon +32 2 639 67 30
Fax +32 2 639 67 38