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Installation view, ‘Roni Horn,’ Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong, 2019 © Roni Horn. Photo: JJYPhoto
20 Feb 2019

‘Roni Horn’ in VR

A virtual reality tour of ‘Roni Horn’ at Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong. The exhibition brings together works on paper, photography, installation and sculpture, including a selection that comprises over 30 works created between 1983 and 2018, chosen and curated by the artist.

Entering the gallery on the 16th floor, visitors are confronted with a blue glass sculpture, ‘Untitled (“There is perfect conviction in everything, as if the objects were better informed about themselves and the position they took up in the world. Here you don’t wonder. You don’t have a hunch. You know.”)’. For this exhibition, the gallery’s floor-length windows have been revealed to allow the weather and sunlight to fully interact with and activate the works on view. Light becomes an element of the exhibition and engages directly with the theme of mutability. It causes the sculpture’s appearance to subtly change throughout the day, adjusting its color, weight, and perceived solidity.

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Roni Horn, White Dickinson, I THINK OF YOUR FORST AND SEA AS A FAR OFF SHERBET, 2006 © Roni Horn. Photo: JJYPhoto

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Roni Horn, Untitled ("There is perfect conviction in everything, as if the objects were better informed about themselves and the position they took up in the world. Here you don't wonder. You don't have a hunch. You know."), 2015 - 2016 © Roni Horn. Photo: JJYPhoto

Just as light affects our visual perception, it also alters the emotion of the viewer, so that the natural light causes nuanced reactions to the same work. The seductively glossy surface of the glass sculpture invites the viewer to gaze into the optically pristine interior, as if looking down on a body of water through an aqueous oculus. The changing appearance of Horn’s sculptures is where one discovers meaning and connects her work to the concept of identity and the fragility of its construct. For these works, colored molten glass assumes the shape and qualities of a mold as it gradually anneals over the course of months. The sides and bottom are left with the rough translucent impression of the mold in which it was cast in stark contrast to the smooth top surface.

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Installation view, ‘Roni Horn,’ Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong, 2019 © Roni Horn. Photo: JJYPhoto

Balanced against the surrounding walls are a number of sculptures from Horn’s ‘Key and Cue’ and ‘White Dickinson’ series, which employ text as image drawn from various sources including poetry, letters, and even fragments from other languages. Horn renders text as images, encouraging us to think about language as sculpture, and hence removed from its meaning. As Horn said, ‘I don’t think of the object, the material thing or what is produced as the endpoint of a work. The aspiration is always the experience, which means the audience, the individual, is integral to the value of the work.’

Roni Horn’ is on view at Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong through 3 March 2019.

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