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Rebecca Horn | Bee's Planetary Map (1998)

Art | Basel Unlimited, Booth U68
Basel, Switzerland
June 13-20, 2022

Bee's Planetary Map -  - Viewing Room - Sean Kelly Gallery - Online Exhibition

Rebecca Horn: Théâtre des métamorphoses (Installation)
Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, France, June 8, 2019 - January 13, 2020 

Bee’s Planetary Map, 1998
21 straw baskets, wire, motors, broken mirror disk, shattered mirror glass, metal rods, wooden stick, stone, sound, lights
Dimensions variable
Photography: Jacqueline Trichard © Rebecca Horn VG Bild Kunst
Price Upon Request


In Bee's Planetary Map, 1998, inverted straw baskets, suggestive of beehives, are suspended from the ceiling at varying heights. Light from the baskets reflects off round, rotating mirrors on the floor, sweeping light throughout the space. The haunting buzz of swarming bees is punctuated at regular intervals by the intervention of a cobblestone on a cable falling from the ceiling above shards of broken mirror, which in turn cast their own shattered lines across the ceiling and walls. The repetitive act is simultaneously disturbing and cathartic. Conceived during the height of the Balkan War, which forcibly displaced millions across the region, Bee's Planetary Map evokes themes of dislocation, fractured movement, and a loss of equilibrium. Today, this haunting work feels more powerful than ever, against the backdrop of the current Russian invasion of Ukraine. 


The artist 

Exhibition History
Unlimited, Art Basel 2022, Basel, Switzerland: 13 June to 20 June 2022
Bee’s Planetary Map, Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin, Germany: 28 April to 26 June 2021
Rebecca Horn: Théâtre des métamorphoses, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, France: 8 June 2019 to 13 January 2020
Concert for Buchenwald, Schloss Ettersburg, Ettersburg, Germany: 15 May to 15 October 1999
Rebecca Horn, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, USA: 5 May to 13 June 1998

Illustration History
Ackermann, Marion, Holzwarth, Hans Werner and Kunstmuseum Stuttgart. Rebecca Horn - Moon Mirror. Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2005. pp 144-146 (color).
Horn, Rebecca and Sartorius, Joachim. The Vertebrae Oracle. Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2014. p 114 (b&w).
Horn, Rebecca and von Drathen, Doris. Rebecca Horn. Paris: Galerie Lelong, 2014. p 20 (color).
Horn, Rebecca, Hasegawa, Yuko, von Drathen, Doris and Edelsztein, Sergio. Rebecca Horn. Kyōto: Tankōsha Publishing Co. and Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, 2009. p 125 (color).
Horn, Rebecca, von Drathen, Doris, Groys, Boris and Mosebach, Martin. Concert for Buchenwald. Zurich: Scalo Verlag, 2000. pp 27-28 (color).
Lavigne, Emma and Müller, Alexandra. Rebecca Horn : Théâtre des métamorphoses. Metz: Centre Pompidou - Metz, 2019. pp 112-113 (color).
Museum Tinguely ed., Reimann, Sandra Beate. Rebecca Horn - Body Fantasies. Vienna: VfmK für moderne Kunst GmbH, 2019. p.143 (color).
Von Drathen, Doris. Künstler: Rebecca Horn (II). Issue 8. Munich: ZEIT Kunstverlag GmbH & Co. KG, 2011. (color).


Bee’s Planetary Map (Installation), Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin, Germany
April 28 - June 26, 2021


Rebecca Horn
The colonies of bees undermining the moles' subversive effort through time

Notebook, 27 September 1997 - 15 May 1999


Span an arch from Schloss Ettersburg over Buchenwald.
The bees have lost their centre
they swarm in dense clouds high above
their radiant beehives are deserted.

Wandering islands of light seek the lost ones
casting an axis of escape
to catch them up in fleeing motion
shaping a planetary map of light anew.

The beehives, the wandering light of colonies
the attempt to flee destruction
at the mercy of alchemistic processes:
mirror of water, heated by cayenne pepper, turns to blood
evaporates over fire into glowing light.

Light alters the island poles of the bee swarms
one of the colonies will always be destroyed
eternally wandering and searching,
writing signs in dark water
the wind inscribes in sand,
changing the signs.

Labyrinths of moles
with their ramified streams of energy they resemble
the flight paths of the bees.
They meet in human beings
as a catalyst
connecting the above and below of the mind.
Through the process of transformation
cautiously writing the language of new signs.

Samson killed a young roaring lion.
Inside its body he found a swarm of bees and honey.
Releasing the bees, he bore the honey in his hands,
eating and walking, he betrayed his secret to no one. 
Bee's Planetary Map -  - Viewing Room - Sean Kelly Gallery - Online Exhibition

Concert for Buchenwald (Installation)
Schloss Ettersburg, Ettersburg, Germany, May 15 - October 15, 1999
Photography: Attilio Maranzano 

In all her work, Rebecca Horn consistently acknowledges the primacy of experience over symbolism, her goal being to articulate and demonstrate that art must be grasped not only in relation to its historical and formal structures but also from the viewpoint of the subject. Operating through signs and symbols, the circular interdependence between the self and the world is consistently revealed."


- Germano Celant, The Divine Comedy of Rebecca Horn, Rebecca Horn: The Inferno Paradiso Switch (Catalogue), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1993