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artists' books collection

still water, by roni horn

Roni Horn, Still Water.  ([Santa Fe, N.M.] : [SITE Santa Fe], 2000)

“The unknown is where I want to be," says Roni Horn, an artist celebrated for her cerebral, wide-ranging body of work in which she explores mutability—of identity and gender, natural landscapes and phenomena, language and meaning. Grounded in Minimalism and shaped by language, Horn’s sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, books, and installations reveal the subtle, moment-by-moment shifts in an expression, nature, or the meaning of words on a page.

Published on the occasion of the 2000 exhibition Roni Horn at SITE Santa Fe, Still Water is a beautifully designed and produced publication of Roni Horn's series of offset lithographs Still Water (The River Thames, for Example), which incorporate, along a white strip below the image, numbered literary and historical references to the river.  Horn defines water as a kind of mirror, both in a physical sense--the dark water of the Thames often reflects the clouded skies of London--and in a metaphorical sense: the lightlessness of the river inspired the artist to consider the historical "darkness" of the Thames as a place of suicide and crime. The river's hypnotic surfaces suggest a variety of reveries and observations, which the artist captures in the notes appended to and overprinted on her photographs, projecting, she says, "whatever I was thinking of at the time, what the river provoked in me and what was in the river itself."