Roni Horn This is me, This is you 1998-2000

Roni Horn
This is me, This is you 1998-2000
96 C-Prints on RC paper
Each print, 316 x 254 mm
© The artist, courtesy Hauser & Wirth Zürich London

Horn has made several works using portraiture which unsettle the genre’s historical ambitions to represent the essential character of the portrayed subject. Cabinet of 2001 (Room 7) is one of Horn’s most opaque works, comprised of a grid of 36 blurry images of a clown performing different emotions and expressions. The blurriness of the head shots curtails the descriptive or graphic nature of the portraits and contributes to a more visceral understanding and experience.

In other works using portrait images, Horn also explores shifting identities. This is Me, This is You 1999–2000, which can be seen outside the exhibition, is comprised of two separate grids each with 48 photographs of a young girl paired with a corresponding image in the other grid. The girl is Horn’s niece, photographed assuming different identities over the transition period from childhood to her teenage years. The two images in each pair were taken moments apart, but the viewer is unable to check the difference. While portraits are traditionally scrutinised from one fixed position, Horn’s works produce unusual experiences for the viewer since multiple images are arranged in space around them.