Vatnasafn/Library of Water.
Photographs by Roni Horn. Text by James Lingwood, Briony Fer,
Adrian Searle, Roni Horn.
Steidl & Partners, 2009. 176 pp., 87 color illustrations, 9x6¾".
The distinctive geography, climate and culture
of Iceland has engaged Roni Horn for over 30
years. Her intimate relationship with the island
has led to a multidisciplinary series of works,
including books, drawings, sculpture, texts and
photographs. Located in a converted library
building on a promontory overlooking the
ocean in Stykkishólmur on Iceland’s west coast,
Vatnasafn/Library ofWater incorporates Horn’s
abiding interest in water and weather, reflection
and illumination, and the relation of these
phenomena to the fluidity of human identity.
The installation houses 24 glass columns containing
local glacier water that reflect outside
weather conditions onto a rubber floor embedded
with weather-related adjectives. It also
functions as a community space, a writers’ studio
and an oral archive of local weather reports.
An introduction by co-director of the Londonbased
nonprofit Artangel, James Lingwood, surveys
Horn’s substantial body of Iceland-related
work alongside essays by critics Briony Fer and
Adrian Searle, a selection of weather reports
and writings by Horn, inspired by her experience
of the enigmatic island.
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