For his first institutional solo show in France, Californian artist David Horvitz is looking to our perceptions of time and space in terms of variation and interchange. His work makes use of a range of media either material (photographs, books, performances, sculptures) or immaterial (interventions on the Net, narratives, rumours). Heir to both the Romantics and the Conceptualists, he practises an art of play, surprise, rhizomatics and circulation.
At La Criée, Horvitz has taken an immaterial aspect of Breton culture as the basis for the exhibition’s key work. Lullaby for a Landscape is an installation comprising of 40 brass chimes hanging from the roof structure and providing the 40 notes of the traditional melody Luskellerez Vor (Lullaby of the Sea). The chimes will be played twice by professional musicians as part of performances; the rest of the time it will be up to individual visitors to originate and orchestrate interpretations of their own.
Visitors play a core part for Horvitz, who enjoys establishing a give-and-take relationship that involves them in his work process. To take one example, you, cloud, rain, river, spring, lake, snow, dew, ice, mist, wave invites the spectator to make free use of the ink stamps and sheets of paper on a table and to take the resulting compositions home with them. Likewise with Nostalgia (18 janvier 2019 – 10 mars 2019 á La Criée centre d’art contemporain, Rennes, France), a slide show of the artist’s photo archive depicts a computer program screening each image before deleting it definitively, leaving us the only ones to have seen it at that moment – and to have seen it vanish forever.
Springing from a simple, everyday nomadic practice, the art of David Horvitz is one of transposition: Map of Brittany from a Wednesday is a bouquet of the same kinds of flowers from different, carefully chosen spots in Brittany, but all gathered the same day. The posters for Proposals for Clocks are scattered through the city, sneakily catching the eye of passers-by. Here time and space intersect, generating a geopoetics in which the artist’s subjectivity imbues our imaginary realms.
Images by Benoît Mauras.