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Color photograph of the water surface of the Thames River in London, by artist Roni Horn. Color photograph of the water surface of the Thames River in London, by artist Roni Horn. Color photograph of the water surface of the Thames River in London, by artist Roni Horn.

Roni Horn
Some Thames, 2000

Are these photos grey, black, yellow, brown, blue and white?

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Roni Horn displays 80 different colour photos in this photographic work of the surface of the River Thames in London.

This work of art focuses on Horn’s larger, research series into the visual, literary and metaphorical possibilities of water. The photos alternate between transparent and opaque, violent and calm, pastoral and urban, clear and dirty. Nevertheless, the deeper meaning in this work, as in all of Horn’s work, is an abstract self-portrait: mystical, fluid and unrecognisable.

In the photos we see only water, no coasts or boats or bridges, only bubbles, waves and flat spots. There are no visual reference points; they somehow absorb our view. Her work bears witness to a sharp observation, supplemented with a visionary’s view that comes close to the surreal. These characteristics define how unique her photography currently is.

The photos put us in a melancholic mood, even though the photographic shots were taken with cold accuracy. It is a reference to erratic forms of her humanity, just like the Thames.