Rebecca Horn – Spirits

Rebecca Horn, Spirits, 2005. Courtesy Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee, Napoli. Foto © Amedeo Benestante.

The German artist has experimented with many different expressive means during her career, from sculpture to performing in movies. Having produced videos of her performances and masquerades in the early Seventies with appendices and prostatics of the human body, from 1978 Rebecca Horn made three short fiction films (Die Eintäzer, 1978; La Ferdinanda, 1981; and Buster’s Bedroom, 1990) in which she juxtaposes her own visual imagination with intricate and symbolic plots, with constant reference to symbolic personages like the musician, the actress, the ballerina, the nurse, of which each person is a psychological or fantastic prototype and plots in which the protagonists live in fictitious situations isolated from the world. Recomposing moments of life, of history for those who have been or are protagonists, and obtaining broader meanings so as to overcome reality, the contingent in the name of the ideal of the transcendent, and to wish to propose it in the most accessible way to the public, are fundamental elements of her research. She created the cast iron reproductions in her room at Madre, which were earlier installed in Piazza Plebiscito, under circles of mother-of-pearl coloured lights, from one the skulls (“capuzzelle”) of the Fontanelle Cemetry in Naples. The artist’s intention is that of giving the spectator the feeling of being part of a continuous phenomenon, of producing the idea of a life which not even death brings to an end as it makes it part of eternity. The music in the room is that of the single voice of the musician Hayden Danyl Chisholm, who is able, simultaneously, to make different sounds in different tones.