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Rebecca Horn «Paradise Widow»
Rebecca Horn, «Paradise Widow», 1975 – 1977
© Rebecca Horn

 Rebecca Horn
«Paradise Widow»

The black-feathered object (1975) consists of a 240-cm high instrument with internal wing braces that are matched to the body of a woman. They can be opened to reveal different parts of the body. The staging of the object in a room establishes a reference to forerunner objects like the 'Feather Dress' as well as to the 'Berlin Exercises in Nine Pieces'.
During the 'documenta 6', Kassel, in 1977, the work was also shown as a video installation with two monitors and two 30-minute videotapes. Tape 1 shows the frontal view and a slow movement towards the viewer, Tape 2 the rear view and a movement away from the viewer. The opposing movements are accompanied by a diary-like spoken commentary conveying the artists throughts and feelings during the realization of the object, a verbal continuation of her investigation into states of mind: '30 metres of black feathers,' says Rebecca Horn, 'are standing bolt upright in my room, and sometimes when I wake I get a terrible fright on seeing this black monster (...).'