Week 02 – Making Space and Place


The Ames Room (1947) – http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~kihlstrm//SocialCognitionWeb/Introduction/images/021AmesRoom.jpg

“Certain critics have filed away these first works by Rebecca Horn under “physical experiences,” failing to explore them further in terms of their pictorial function and power. But if one considers the spatially expansive imagery of these performances, it becomes immediately clear that through a highly original procedure they evolve their own spatial parameters and that, seen now with hindsight, they already schematically form the basis for the artist entire later oeuvre in the realm of spatial composition. For, from the very start, these acts of gauging and measuring the crossed vertical and horizontal axes open the greatest degree of freedom within unlimited space.”

– Places at the Zero Point, Doris von Drathen (p.31)

Rebecca Horn has a variety of performance pieces that deal with spatial relationships that explore beyond the physical architectural space it is in. She is able to manipulate the illusion of a space’s proportions/sizes and explore spatial depths beyond the confined interior spaces. The Measuring box is a great example, where Rebecca Horn is able to question the viewers perception of the box’s size due to the variety of people who enter the box. Depending on the person inside of the art piece, the metal framed box, the horizontal rods act as a constant measuring tool that allows the viewers to be able to compare and contrast the changes during the performance. Thus altering the viewers understanding of where the space is a tall spacious space or a short confined space. This raises the question, how does one truly perceive spatial portions and sizes in an accurate way?


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