Roni Horn – Vatnasafn/Library of Water

Roni Horn, “Vatnasafn/Library of Water”, 2007.

Season 3 featured artist Roni Horn, who has been intimately involved with the distinctive geography, geology, climate and culture of Iceland for the past 25 years, has developed in collaboration with Artangel. Vatnasafn/Library of Water is a multi-faceted long-term installation and community centre situated in a former library building in the town of Stykkishólmur on the western coast of Iceland north of Reykjavík overlooking the ocean on one side and the harbor and town on the other.

In the main viewing room, Horn has replaced stacks of books with a constellation of glass columns containing glacial water from around Iceland – gathered from the glacial tongues of Vatnajökull and the glaciers of Hofsjökull, Langökull and Snaefellsjökull. A customized floor is inscribed with both Icelandic and English words describing the state of the weather Рor the mood of the viewer. Through the watery columns, natural light is refracted and reflected onto the floor creating what Horn describes as a “kind of lighthouse in which the viewer becomes the lighthouse in which the view becomes the light.” Absorbing the visitor into a world of weather, water and light, the room also doubles as a space for reflection and a place for community activity from writers’ readings to women’s chess clubs, yoga classes and town meetings.

Also in Iceland, Roni Horn’s exhibition MY OZ is on display at the Reykjavík Art Museum until August 19, 2007.


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