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Roni Horn, Air Burial, 2018 © Roni Horn. Photo: Michael Wolcover
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Excerpt from Ursula: Issue 1
24 Dec 2018

Plein Air: A Look at New Work by Roni Horn

Roni Horn’s ‘Air Burial’ (2014 – 17) belongs to an important group of cast-glass works that the artist has made since the mid-1990s. ‘Air Burial’—the title refers in part to the Tibetan funerary practice of leaving a body exposed on a mountaintop—is the first of these works conceived specifically by Horn to be sited outdoors amid the elements and to assimilate into the local ecology. This iteration, installed in Cairngorm National Park in Scotland, will be shaped by natural factors such as temperature fluctuations, wind, rain and snow. Over time, the sculpture will break down—an entropy intrinsic to the work as it adopts the identity of its surroundings.
Fall

Roni Horn, Air Burial, 2018 © Roni Horn. Photo: Michael Wolcover

Summer

Roni Horn, Air Burial, 2018 © Roni Horn. Photo: Michael Wolcover

What then of these images here, cast off from the surface, merely,
with nothing to impede their discharge or their progress?
They travel, therefore, faster and cover a greater distance
in the time it takes the light of the sun to fill the sky.
As a demonstration of how impressively rapid these
images are, let us consider a lake or a pond,
some body of water, the surface of which reflects light.
You can see in the smooth water the constellations above
answering back in their twinkle in the pond’s motionless water.
You see, here, how the image came down from the distant heaven
to appear again almost instantaneously on earth.
And from this you may infer the rate at which images move.

— Lucretius, from Book iv, De rerum natura
(On the Nature of Things, trans. David R. Slavitt)

Winter

Roni Horn, Air Burial, 2018 © Roni Horn. Photo: Michael Wolcover

Roni Horn’s work assumes various guises to generate uncertainty and thwart closure, in pursuit of her longstanding interest in the nature of identity, meaning, and perception. ‘Roni Horn’, the artist’s first solo exhibition in Greater China is currently on view at Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong through 2 March 2019. Intended as a comprehensive introduction to Horn’s multidisciplinary practice, the exhibition brings together works on paper, photography, installation and sculpture. The selection comprises over 30 works created between 1983 and 2018, chosen and curated by the artist.

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