Well and Truly by Roni Horn is an installation that plays on the different meanings of well.
This installation consists of ten solid cast glass parts, each measuring 91.5 cm in diameter and 45.5 cm in height. The glass blocks evoke petrified well water: the sides are translucent and the corners ridged, having adhered directly to the mold during casting, while the upper surface, which has been in contact with the air, is glossy and reflective so as to seem liquid.
Depending on the ambient light and the observer’s position, they can appear surprisingly transparent or dramatically sparkling, with a virtually endless number of subtle color variations.
Well and Truly contradicts the connotation of certainty conveyed by the phrase’s primary meaning. Firstly it refers to water, a symbol of changeability, ambiguity and an uncertain identity, omnipresent in Roni Horn’s work. “Watching the water,” says the artist, “I am stricken with vertigo of meaning. Water is the final conjugation: an infinity of forms, relations and contents.” Then it evokes literature, another essential aspect of her work (the poems of Emily Dickinson are the source for many of her sculptures), and in particular Radclyffe Hall’s novel The Well of Loneliness (1928), a landmark in gay culture. Finally, by undermining all certainty about its solid or liquid nature, it produces a true physical experience in the viewer.
Awesome piece of art! That would also look great as a coffee table…
All images © Roni Horn / Hauser & Wirth – Website