Tate Modern Film

Rebecca Horn: Early Films

Join us for a special screening of Rebecca Horn’s rarely seen early films

Rebecca Horn Still from Berlin

​Rebecca Horn, The Feathered Prison Fan, 1978

Rebecca Horn The Gigolo (Der Eintänzer) 1978 film still

Berlin (10 Nov. 1974 – 28 Jan. 1975) – Exercises in nine parts: Dreaming under water of things afar

Federal Republic of Germany 1974–75, 16mm transferred to video, colour, sound, 42 min

Unlike her previous compilations of filmed performances featuring her ‘body sculptures’, these nine pieces are a self-contained series of performance sequences. They were conceived expressly for a room the artist had rented in Berlin for the purpose of making of this film. The film describes the intense relationship between the artist, her sculptures and the space they inhabit. Berlin Exercises can be seen both as Rebecca Horn’s first large-scale installation and as her first true film.

Paradise Widow

Federal Republic of Germany 1975, 16mm transferred to video, colour, sound, 20 min

In her first step towards narrative filmmaking, Horn narrates a letter written to a far-away lover. Her voice appears over footage of her early mechanised sculpture Paradise Widow, a cocoon of black feathers slowly hiding and revealing her naked body. Both threatening and protective, Paradise Widow embodies the paradoxical feelings of dysfunctional love, and focuses once again on a single, slightly oppressive interior.

The Gigolo (Der Eintänzer)

Federal Republic of Germany 1978, 16mm transferred to video, colour, sound, 47 min

The protagonist of The Gigolo is Horn’s own studio, a New York apartment rented out for the summer to a ballet school. The film is a fantasy of what happened in her absence, narrated as a sequence of vignettes. A blind man arrives asking for tango lessons, followed by twins who turn up and insist on staying there, initiating an odd friendship with Max, who refuses to leave his miniature piano unattended. The storylines cross each other, turning increasingly strange and ending with a sudden and unexpected twist.

Programme duration: 109 min

Tate Modern

London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

7 May 2016 at 16.00–18.00

Find out more