Roni Horn Untitled (Aretha) 2002–04

Roni Horn
Untitled (Aretha) 2002–4
Solid cast glass
The Museum of Modern Art, New York; fractional and promised gift of Kathy and Richard S. Fuld Jr. © Roni Horn

Untitled (Aretha) 2002–04 (Room 12) is one of Horn’s most exquisite glass sculptures – a block whose intense red suggests the unique timbre of its dedicatee’s voice. It is a very seductive work and is shown near to other works where looking and desiring come together. Her, Her, Her and Her 2002–3 is a grid of 64 black and white photographs shot in the locker room of an Icelandic swimming pool. With its continuous skin of tiles folding around corners and over walls, Horn describes this as a ‘labyrinthine space’ whose architecture ‘seemed to anticipate the voyeur’s desire’. In the photographs, we catch glimpses of bodies moving along corridors and past peepholes. Though laid out as a grid, the experience of the work corresponds to the experience of the space: ignoring the order of rows and columns, our eyes dart around the squares.

You are the Weather 1994–5 (Room 13) closes the exhibition. Repeatedly we confront a woman who returns our gaze. Horn took one hundred photographs of the model in different pools across Iceland in rain, fog, wind and sun, her expression changing in response to the weather. The ‘you’ in the title addresses the viewer: ‘when you are in the room with her it’s as though you’ve provoked those responses, you become the weather,’ Horn writes. ‘For me, this work is deeply erotic in a genderless way.’ Elsewhere she says ‘the way this work is shot and installed, the viewer is voyeurized by the view. You are surrounded by a woman who is staring at you.’