Rebecca Horn

Rebecca Horn

Rebecca Horn, sculptor, performer, filmmaker, is a leading figure on the world art scene. She lives and works in Germany. A multifaceted and sophisticated artist who has become famous since the 1970s for her performances and installations, Rebecca Horn also creates drawings, photographs, videos, and for the past few years literary texts and theater directions. A recurring element in her works is the relationship between the body and space, movement and music, with special attention paid to the interaction between the object, the viewer and the space.



For Horn, the body is history and history is the body. “Horn’s work [is a testament to] her consciousness of the world where brutality and pain are inseparable from a dramatic tension,” says Müller. For most people, the response to our inability to change our past, and, in many ways, to even change anything about our future, is to pretend we have more agency than we do—to claim control even where we do not have it. But for others, as Horn’s art shows, the solution to having no existential control is to enact violence and pain as one can—to assert control at any cost.



Pencil Mask, 1972

Strapped around the face, this mask transforms the wearer’s head into an instrument for drawing. Horn has described wearing it: ‘All pencils are about two inches long and produce the profile of my face in three dimensions…I move my body rhythmically from left to right in front of a white wall. The pencils make marks on the wall the image of which corresponds to the rhythm of my movements.’ The spike-like pencils make this one of Horn’s more threatening works.


“You have to believe in something, and you have to give that out to the world. Most people live in a little prison in their minds.”

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