Summer Project 2015: Roni Horn Inspired Piece

Close up of galaxy piece

Close up of galaxy piece

For my piece I decided to look at Roni Horn; who’s main focus is water and androgyny. Critical of assigned categories she explores ideas around mutability and androgyny, using glass and photography often to express these ideas. Horn has written that ‘Androgyny is the possibility of a thing containing multiple identities.’[1] To express these ideas she uses glass structures to imitate water of which doesn’t have a fixed identity. She has also produced a series of books, called ‘To Place’ showing Iceland, of which she is influenced by its geographical identity which is continuously in flux. Her practise with drawings also play with the idea of identity, and recently for an exhibition of her drawings ‘Or’. She said; ”They start as two drawings, similar but not the same. I do the second looking at the first, and those two drawings get connected up. They are dismembered or they evolve into one thing, or things in proximity.”[2]

Close up of water piece

Close up of water piece

I chose to focus of her ideas of androgyny and mutability, the lack of a clear identity in her works. Looking into her ‘Still Water’[3] photographs, I decided to play with the idea of androgyny and identity in the world around us, and how its a recurring theme in nature. I experimented with different materials and effects to replicate water and its mutability, including water marbling. After much experimentation I decided to broaden the idea of androgyny and mutability by looking further afield. I decided to look into outer space, and question the idea of planets having a gender in some beliefs and cultures. Through this I then connected the mutability of water to the galaxy’s lack of identity, in particular a water whirlpool to a swirling galaxy due to their movements. Horn’s designs for displaying her work is through the idea of reflections and movement[4], which gives the viewer the sense of de ja vu. From this I decided to replicate the idea of a reflection by playing with the composition. When I installed it I placed the Water piece above the Galaxy, in order to give the impression that I reflected her work, her works being about the movement and mutability of water, whilst mine being about mutability and movement of the galaxy.

[1]Roni Horn aka Roni Horn, press release in Tate

[2]Financial Times, Roni Horn’s ‘seductively perplexing’ work

[3]Roni Horn [No Title] Thames Photographs, Tate

[4]Art21: Roni Horn Words and Pictures


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