The German artist Rebecca Horn was awarded the Kaiserring in 1992. In 16 years, it was the first time the renowned art prize had gone to a woman. Horn created the work Yin-Yang Conference for the Apostles' Room five years after receiving the award.
The room contains three objects facing each other. The two pairs of binoculars mounted on long poles turn on their own axes. They appear to be fixedly scanning the walls. Opposite them is a moveable mirror that reflects the light from a spotlight. Like a full moon, the reflection travels across the baroque wall paintings in the Apostles' Room, across the old furniture and the floor.
The whirring motors with their abrupt movements bring the objects to life. The binoculars take on an active role. As they move, they appear purposeful and dominant. The mirror, on the other hand, reacts and reflects. It is the passive counterpart, exposed to scrutiny.
The title Yin-Yang Conference is a reference to Chinese philosophy. Yin-Yang is the doctrine of opposing forces which do not repel each other, but together form a single, shared whole. Like female and male energy, both of which are in a relationship of erotic tension, they discharge themselves in action and reaction, and finally unite.
For Rebecca Horn, the relationship between body and space is an essential component of her art. The artist was delighted with the old Apostles' Room. The richly decorated 16th century space was once the best room in the house – equivalent to a state room. The images of the four evangelists and the apostle Paul, and the baroque decoration, are active parts of the installation, as is the old floor, the oldest in the entire Mönchehaus and the trailing wires relate to the cracks that have developed in the old floor over the centuries.
Fotos: © Sascha Engel, Goslar