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Roni Horn

Ellipsis (II)


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Roni Horn (1955-)


Ellipsis (II)




Sixty-four iris prints mounted on Sintra


Overall: 96 × 95 15/16 × 7/16 in. (243.8 × 243.7 × 1.1 cm)

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Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Photography Committee, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz, and the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee

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For Ellipsis (II), Roni Horn photographed the changing rooms of a public swimming pool in Reykjavík, Iceland, a country to which she has traveled regularly since 1975. A labyrinth of rooms, hallways, and doors with peepholes, the changing area is covered with white tiles that curve around corners to form a single continuous surface. The doors are specially designed to close off one room while opening another. As a result, the architecture obscures boundaries between inside and outside. Horn mirrors this spatial effect in Ellipsis (II) through a dynamic arrangement of sixty-four tile-shaped images of doors, hallways, and walls. Through repetition, inversion, and scale–the work measures 8 x 8 feet–she invites the viewer to look across and through the expansive surface, initiating a voyeuristic journey encouraged by the mazelike architecture itself. As Horn commented on the viewing experience: “In Ellipsis you don’t really see what you’re looking at until you’ve seen it all, until you’ve looked at all of the sixty-four photographs. In the cumulative differences and similarities of the images and in the search it poses–the experience of the original space unfolds.”

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