5th October 2015, Performance Design & Practice. Rebecca Horn.

Since the beginning of the 1970s, Rebecca Horn has been creating an oeuvre which constitutes an ever-growing flow of performances, films, sculptures, spatial installations, drawings and photographs. The essence of their imagery comes out of the tremendous precision of the physical and technical functionality she uses to stage her works each time within a particular space.

In the first performances, the body-extensions, she explores the equilibrium between body and space. In later works she replaces the human body with kinetic sculptures which take on their own life. Her new works define and cut through spaces with reflections of mirrors, light and music.

Ideas of touch and sensory awareness are explored in this work. Horn has described how wearing her 'finger gloves' (1972) altered her relationship with her surroundings, so that distant objects came within her reach: ‘the finger gloves are light. I can move them without any effort. Feel, touch, grasp anything, but keeping a certain distance from the objects. The lever-action of the lengthened fingers intensifies the various sense-data of the hand; …I feel me touching, I see me grasping, I control the distance between me and the objects.’ Implicit in the work is the idea that touching makes possible an intimacy between our own body and those of others.

© Harriet Grace Abbott, all rights reserved