Roni Horn. You are the Weather
Fondation Beyeler, Basel
October 10, 2020 – January 17, 2021
New York artist Roni Horn first traveled to Iceland in 1975, at the age of twenty. Since then she has regularly visited the Nordic volcanic island, which has acquired a particular importance for her work. The isolated setting, with its uniquely rugged landscape and volatile weather, is a powerful source of inspiration, reflected in some of Horn’s central works and in a series of books. She describes Iceland as “Big enough to get lost on. Small enough to find myself”. The one hundred photographs that make up You Are the Weather were taken in July and August 1994.
“For a six-week period I traveled with Margrét throughout Iceland. Using the naturally heated waters that are commonplace there, we went from pool to pool. We worked daily, mostly outside, and regardless of the changeable, often unpredictable climate that frequents the island”. The close-up images show the young woman in sunlight or under a clouded sky; her facial expression, sometimes conveying annoyance or impatience, is determined by the dazzling of the sun, or the wind. Although the portraits are all of the same person, we learn nothing of her. Identity, in You Are the Weather, is described as open and mutable, presenting itself as a multiplicity of moments.
Roni Horn was born in 1955 in New York and grew up in Rockland County in New York State. She studied art at Rhode Island School of Design and Yale University. Since the 1980s, her work has been shown in numerous solo exhibitions in the USA and Europe. The Fondation Beyeler organized a major exhibition of her art in 2016.