Exhibit: Roni Horn
January 31—April 26, 2020, Tue/Wed/Thu/Fri 11:00 am-4:30 pm
February 1—April 26, 2020, weekends 2:00 pm-5:00 pm
February 6, 2020, Thursdays 11:00 am-8:00 pm
March 5, 2020, Thursdays 11:00 am-8:00 pm
April 2, 2020, Thursdays 11:00 am-8:00 pm
This event does NOT occur on:
March 8—March 15
University Museum of Contemporary Art
UMass Amherst Campus
For more than forty years, American artist Roni Horn has developed a richly diverse practice that spans drawing, sculpture, photography, installation, and books. Exploring wide-ranging topics including human identity, ecology, landscape, weather, and language, Horn’s work intermingles material and context, complicating relationships between object, subject, and viewer in the process.
Her exhibition at the UMCA concerns the landscape of Iceland, where Horn has traveled and made work since 1975, and how it has informed her practice. The exhibition’s focus is Pi, an installation comprised of 45 Iris-printed photographs, taken along the Arctic Circle in the north of Iceland over a six-year period. Horn thinks of the work as “a collection of circular and cyclical events.” Combining portraits and landscapes, Pi charts a mode of living in a specific place, though Horn was not interested in reportage or narrative. The installation forms a frieze around the room, sewing this circular work together through memory and movement. The artist says, “There is no prescribed beginning or end, and, among the images, no single motif dominates. The potential for narrative, which is implied in the nature of the imagery, never actually evolves. Thwarting the narrative is an important way to engage people’s interest.”
Unobstructed views of the ocean are interspersed with those shot through windows in the home of an elderly couple whose portraits appear throughout the exhibition. They harvest the down from the nests of Eider ducks, and Horn includes images of the feathery nests. Outside influences infiltrate and become part of the continuum. Iceland had only one television station for years, and every afternoon many tuned in to watch the American soap opera, Guiding Light. Stills from this program punctuate Pi, marking the passage of time with the soothing recurrence of the same. Horn sets this mundane drama against the routine life cycles of birds in Iceland. This series of photographs embody a collision of nature and culture, a haunting interruption in the entropic flow of life and death envisioned in this exhibition.
The University Museum of Contemporary Art (UMCA) is located on the lower of the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center. Directions to the Fine Arts Center