How to bring together things that don’t fit? How can a room give clues towards human behaviour? What is life if not a balancing act? Vlatka Horvat's work revolves around these questions – with simple materials, often found on site, which once combined turn into metaphors for everyday contradictions, persistent attempts and delicate tight-rope. When Horvat makes use of the physical space, whether with her performances, photo collages or sculptures, there is always a psychological and social component inherent.
Support and balance are also the subjects of her exhibition In Suspension at CAPRI, for which Horvat has created two installations. Both refer to a central architectural element in the space: a pillar.
Its presence in the centre of the room defines it as an indispensable support structure. As petite as it may seem, it still holds up the ceiling and lends an impression of solidity to the entire architecture.
Horvat has now placed several stick structures throughout the room – pieces of found wood, folding rules, metal rods, broomsticks – which are held together with tape and are clamped betweek floor and ceiling. A poetic intervention that emphasizes the pillar’s function, rendering it absurd at the same time. The space turns into a balancing act: vertical timbers form parasitic pseudo-pillars, like built ruins attempting to hold the room and acting at the same time as some kind of helpless mimicry of the pillar itself. Playfully and humorous but also slightly tragically, they refer to man’s quest for stability. In a fragile, levitating way, the space and its parameters are emphasized and defined in their brittleness.
The second work is installed on the window sill and approaches the notion of support and balance in a more discrete way: Both ends of parallel placed wooden boards carry small objects and figurines. The one end is located closer to the window, thus bordering with the street. The other end reaches deep into the room’s centre. Reminiscent of a shop window, a scientific experimental model or a seesaw from the playground, the work seems in a precarious position, threatening to collapse at any time. Stability and fragility, holding and leaning, striving upwards in vain and hovering in the air: With In Suspension Vlatka Horvat describes the human condition in a playful, light-hearted way as a tight-rope dance defined by the uncertainties and contradictions of life.
Vlatka Horvat (*1974, Čakovec, Croatia) lives and works in London. In recent years, she’s had solo exhibitions at Zak | Branicka Galerie, Berlin and Disjecta, Portland, amongst others. She participated in numerous group exhibitions, including Disturbing the Peace at Museum Marta Herford in 2013 and Minimal Forms of Reality at Bunkier Sztuki in Krakow in 2015.