Rebecca Horn

Born in 1944 in Michelstadt (Germany), she lives and works in Germany

Belle du vent, 2003
Volcanic stone, rock crystal, engine, pedestal, 43 x 27 x 16 cm

Giancarlo and Danna Olgiati Collection, Lugano

Internationally renowned German artist, Rebecca Horn is known for her performances exploring the human body and its physical limitations, possible extensions, protection, and sublimation, as well as her approach to restrictive social codes and standard behavior. In addition to a large body of performative works and videos, she is also known for her kinetic sculptures, animated objects participating in a poetic process of reconditioning the body, even altering and transforming it. Often, the component elements of her art can serve as mechanical substitutes for the body, suggesting ambitions worthy of automaton. ‘Belle du vent’ is one of these objects: a volcanic stone moves, using an engine, in front of visitors. Sawn in two, it opens and lets us discover a crystal at its heart, the word “heart” here probably being the key word. Translucent quartz, a precious stone with a fragile look, used since antiquity for its healing properties, protected, imprisoned, then released by a volcanic rock, petrified lava, a cover that reveals or hides this vulnerable intimacy. It is with this translation, this projection outside oneself, that the bodies of her first performances are replaced, piece by piece, by mechanical objects, with a strong allegorical dimension, a barely veiled eroticism and an animistic sensibility. A work that is always alive and expresses the potential of movement, its energy, its rhythm, the rituals and the metamorphoses of the body. Like a small theater of what pulsates in each of us.

Rebecca Horn, Belle du vent, 2003 Volcanic stone, rock crystal, engine, pedestal, 43 x 27 x 16 cm – Photo © Agostino Osio Courtesy Giancarlo et Danna Olgiati Collection, Lugano