Rebecca Horn is one of the best-known German contemporary artists in the world. Looking back, it was probably the documenta 5, curated by Harald Szeemann, that marked a major turning point in her life – as well as for the world art show. As the youngest showcased artist in the history of the documenta, Rebecca Horn celebrated her international breakthrough in Kassel in 1972. That same year, she moved from Berlin to New York. She is known for works that often blur the boundaries of disciplines and genres, especially in her spatial installations and mechanical sculptures. Her works are not only characterised by incredible precision; they also possess a vibrant, multifaceted poetic imagination. Rebecca Horn orchestrates space, light, sound and rhythm to meticulously calibrated sequences of movement and fictitious narratives. And throughout her career spanning six decades, the human body and its movement have remained at the centre of her life’s work.
In this large-scale retrospective, the Haus der Kunst in Munich has chosen to shift the focus to Horn’s artistic production in the context of performativity. The starting point is newly digitalised film material from her early performative works of the 1970s. Even in these early pieces, unusual postures and movements, the use of masks, bandages, fans and feathers were already an essential component of her artistic practice. Video recordings of early actions and performances, but also her own cinematic pieces open new and important perspectives on her oeuvre. The Haus der Kunst aims to establish links between her early and later works and present many of them on almost 2,000 m2 of exhibition space– from cinematic pieces from the 1970s to the mechanical sculptures of the 1980s to the immersive spatial installations of the 1990s and 2000s. The exhibition will also explore central themes in her work, e.g. the relationship of human-machine-animal and the myriad references to literature, art and film history. The exhibition project is being developed in close collaboration with Rebecca Horn herself and her studio, and will be accompanied by an international symposium, a comprehensive bilingual catalogue, and diverse audio and video formats.
Artistic director: Andrea Lissoni
Curator: Jana Baumann
Artist: Rebecca Horn.
Exhibition: Haus der Kunst, Munich: 26 Apr. – 13 Oct. 2024
Stiftung Haus der Kunst München