EDITION OF 100 COPIES WITH A SIGNED PAIR OF PHOTOGRAPHS
To Place / Becoming a Landscape.
(Denver, Colorado): Ginny Williams, 2001.
2 vols. 4to (202 x 254 mm), pp.. 22 colour photographs; pp.. 22 colour photographs. Photo-illustrated perfect bound wrappers. Two chromogenic photographs (202 x 254 mm) each numbered and one signed in pencil to verso, together housed in the publishers cream cloth-covered board box, front lettered in black, light blue dot stamped to front and to spine; small dent to rear bottom edge of box, minor soiling. Signed and numbered 1/100 by Horn in pencil to inside of the box. Near-fine.
First edition, one of 100 signed and numbered copies issued with a signed pair of original photographs, from a total edition of 900. Becoming a Landscape is the eighth volume in Roni Horn’s epic and ambitious, ongoing encyclopedic series ‘To Place’. Each volume deals with a different theme, and together they combine to build a portrait of both Iceland, and the artist herself. Becoming a Landscape consists of two books which each contain a series of near identical photographs, taken moments apart, of the hot springs near Geysir, interspersed with portraits of a young man.
In a 1995 interview with Claudia Spinelli for Journal of Contemporary Art, Horn discussed the importance of this series and its place within her work: ‘The entrance to all my work is the idea of an encyclopedia of identity. It is best represented by the books, the series called ‘To Place’, which is extremely important to me. I have been working on this since 1988. It’s really the heart. It is a series of books, each one of which adds to the whole in a way that alters the identity of it retroactively. So the first volume appears to be a book of drawings. The second book was about a completely different subject but in the same format. With the third volume people start to realize something: “Well, this looks like a series, so there must be some relationship. But I haven’t a clue as to what it is.” ... The books are this very slow process of accumulation in the period of a life, my life... The underlying subject stays the same: Iceland and myself, the viewer and the view. This is the dialectic that defines each in itself.’
Roth, A., The Open Book: A History of the Photographic Book from 1878 to the Present pp.348-351; Parr, M. and Badger, G., The Photobook: A History Vol. II pp.164-5; Aarons, P. and Roth, A., In Numbers: Serial Publications by Artists Since 1955 pp.386-393.