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transmediale Artistic Director Kristoffer Gansing Looks Back Ocula Conversation transmediale Artistic Director Kristoffer Gansing Looks Back Terence Sharpe, Berlin

Since 2012, Kristoffer Gansing has worked as the artistic director of transmediale—a festival at the forefront of digital media and culture that analyses the current moment through self-reflection and anticipation of rapidly oscillating futures. Explorations into moving image, online culture, and the socio-political landscape of digital...

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Taipei Lowdown: Shows to See Ocula Report Taipei Lowdown: Shows to See Tessa Moldan, Taipei

As Taipei Dangdai returns for its second edition between 17 and 19 January 2020 at the Nangang Exhibition Center, a selection of exhibitions across the city confirm Taipei as one of the region's most exciting art hubs. Yahon Chang: Cursive OUR Museum, National Taiwan University of Arts (NTUA), No. 59, Section 1, Daguan Road, Banqiao...

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Images from Abroad: Lada Nakonechna at Galerie EIGEN + ART Ocula Insight Images from Abroad: Lada Nakonechna at Galerie EIGEN + ART Phoebe Blatton, Berlin

Lada Nakonechna's solo exhibition, Images from abroad at Galerie EIGEN + ART (9 January–20 February 2020) ostensibly takes place on an end wall of the gallery. The wall bears markings hand-drawn in graphite that evoke shadows once cast by pictures, since removed, their fixtures also left in situ. Serving as a framework of variable...

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HomePage Artists

b. 1944, Germany

Rebecca Horn Biography

Rebecca Horn is a German contemporary artist known for her body-extensions, mechanical sculptures, drawings, performances, films, and installations. These artworks explore the relationship between the human body and its surroundings, political and historical memory, and human vulnerability.

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Horn was born in Michelstadt, Hesse, Germany. While studying at the HFBK University of Fine Arts Hamburg, in the 1960s, she was hospitalised for lung damage from working unprotected with polyester and fibreglass. Confined to her bed for a year, the artist could only draw and sew. This gave rise to her fixation with the human body found in her early wearable sculptures. They came to be known as ‘body-extensions’.

Horn’s body-extensions are simultaneously sculptures and performance accessories, blurring the line between stationary objects and temporary props. Her iconic Einhorn (Unicorn) (1970–1972), for example, consists of a long cone—reminiscent of a unicorn’s horn—and a series of straps (made from wood, fabric, and metal) for securing it to the wearer’s body. The work was designed for a fellow student, who wears it while walking through the woods at dawn in the video Performances II (1973).

In the late 1970s, Horn began to introduce mechanised sculptures into her films. The Feathered Prison Fan (1978)—a human-scaled sculpture with large overlapping feathers that move like a shell to encase whoever stands inside—appears in The Gigolo (Der Eintänzer) (1978), a 45-minute feature film about a man named Max, a blind man, and twins. Fantasy and reality take turns in propelling the narrative forward, emanating the dream-like and illogical quality evocative of Surrealist experimentation. In La Ferdinanda (1981), set in an Italian villa, Horn shows a machine that spreads out and folds beautiful white peacock plumage (The Peacock Machine, 1979–1980).

After periods of living in London and New York, Horn returned to Germany in the 1980s and 1990s to create site-specific installations that incorporated sound and violent activities as haunting reminders of war. For Concert in Reverse, conceived for Skulptur Projekte Münster in 1987, she installed mechanical hammers in the basement vaults of the Zinger, where Gestapo executions had taken place. Concert for Buchenwald, installed in 1999 in a disused tram depot in Weimar near the Buchenwald concentration camp, consisted of a stack of old musical instruments and their cases behind a pile of ash. There is no sound—a silent concert without musicians or audience—apart from the commotion made by a trolley as it regularly travels down the railway line and crashes into a wall at the end.

Other recurring motifs in Rebecca Horn’s oeuvre include the butterfly, which usually takes the form of a pair of fluttering blue wings attached to a small motorised device. In the sculpture Butterfly Body Fantasy (2009), a thin branch hangs upside down in a vitrine while a mechanised butterfly beats its wings on a stick protruding out from a wall. Another sculptural work, Metamorphoses between Rock and Butterfly (2014) juxtaposes the ephemeral beauty of the butterfly with the durability of hard rock, by placing the insect atop a volcanic rock the artist found near Mt Vesuvius in Italy.

Horn has had numerous retrospective exhibitions, including a mid-career survey at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1993, which travelled to Eindhoven, Berlin, Vienna, London, and Grenoble, and Bodylandscapes at the Hayward Gallery, London, in 2005. In 2019 two retrospective exhibitions were held simultaneously at the Centre Pompidou-Metz (Rebecca Horn: Theatre of Metamorphoses) and Basel’s Museum Tinguely (Rebecca Horn: Body Fantasies).

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2019

Rebecca Horn Featured Artworks

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Mirrored Moon by Rebecca Horn contemporary artwork
Rebecca HornMirrored Moon, 2017Butterfly, electronic motor, black painted paper, glass funnel, gold leaf, brass, branch, steel, glass
39 3/8 x 30 3/8 x 7 1/2 inches
Sean Kelly Enquire about this work
Landscape by Rebecca Horn contemporary artwork
Rebecca HornLandscape, 2015Acrylic and pencil on paper, burnt paper
32 x 24 cm
Sold
Galerie Thomas Schulte
Paris by Rebecca Horn contemporary artwork
Rebecca HornParis, 2015Acrylic and pencil on paper
32 x 24 cm
Sold
Galerie Thomas Schulte
Schreib Frucht by Rebecca Horn contemporary artwork
Rebecca HornSchreib Frucht, 2015Acrylic and pencil on paper
40 x 30 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte Enquire about this work
Untitled by Rebecca Horn contemporary artwork
Rebecca HornUntitled, 2015Acrylic and pencil on paper
40 x 30 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte Enquire about this work
Untitled by Rebecca Horn contemporary artwork
Rebecca HornUntitled, 2015Acrylic and pencil on paper
40 x 30 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte Enquire about this work
Eidechse und Eichhörnchen gekreutz in Napoli by Rebecca Horn contemporary artwork
Rebecca HornEidechse und Eichhörnchen gekreutz in Napoli, 2015Acrylic, pencil on paper
181 x 150 cm
Sold
Galerie Thomas Schulte
Between The Knives The Emptiness by Rebecca Horn contemporary artwork
Rebecca HornBetween The Knives The Emptiness, 20143 knives, steel construction, electronic device, motor, brush, brass
255 x 180 x 150 cm
Galerie Thomas Schulte Enquire about this work

Rebecca Horn Represented By

Rebecca Horn In Ocula Magazine

Art Basel Lowdown: Shows to See Ocula Report Art Basel Lowdown: Shows to See Tessa Moldan, Basel

To coincide with Art Basel 2019 , which opens to the public from 13 to 16 June, galleries and institutions across the city are presenting a range of stellar exhibitions. From Rebecca Horn at Museum Tinguely to Geumhyung Jeong at Kunsthalle Basel, here is a selection of what to see. William Kentridge, Dead Remus (2014–2016). Charcoal...

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Rebecca Horn In Related Press

A Prophet of the Coming Electronic and Mechanical Realities Related Press A Prophet of the Coming Electronic and Mechanical Realities 5 August 2019, Hyperallergic

METZ, France; BASEL, Switzerland — The Centre Pompidou-Metz and Museum Tinguely have joined together to present a remarkably diverse and prolific two-part exhibition devoted to the German artist Rebecca Horn. Horn's stimulating body of work, begun in the late 1960s, consists of conceptually based, process-oriented, prosthetic performances,...

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In Head-To-Head Exhibitions, Artist Rebecca Horn Equips Machines To Fiddle With Human Emotions Related Press In Head-To-Head Exhibitions, Artist Rebecca Horn Equips Machines To Fiddle With Human Emotions 17 June 2019, Forbes

When Rebecca Horn was in art school, she used fiberglass and polyester as sculptural materials. They soon damaged her lungs, forcing her to spend a year in a sanitarium. The months of isolation led to a reappraisal of her sculptural medium. After she was released, she started sculpting own body.

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Klaus Biesenbach recalls the founding of KW in Berlin 25 years ago, a moment of 'radical change and freedom' Related Press Klaus Biesenbach recalls the founding of KW in Berlin 25 years ago, a moment of 'radical change and freedom' 29 November 2016, ARTnews

In late November 1989 I came to Berlin. I had spent the summer in New York, staying with a friend who at the time was the editor of an international magazine. On her cable TV and in the many different newspapers she had at her home on the Upper West Side, I had seen and read about an autumn full of demonstrations in East Germany, embassies taken...

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THE BACKBONE OF REBECCA HORN Related Press THE BACKBONE OF REBECCA HORN 15 May 2015, Interview Magazine

If you were to imagine Justine, the titular heroine in the Marquis de Sade's late 18th-century novel (also called The Misfortunes of Virtue ), in a tiger pelt, you would be sharing a poetic vision with celebrated German artist Rebecca Horn. You might also be fantasizing about the late German born-Swiss Surrealist, Méret Elisabeth Oppenheim, to...

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