By Hand, on Foot
solo exhibition at PEER, London
3 February – 2 April 2022
Photo: Stephen White & Co
From the exhibition guide:
Central to Vlatka Horvat’s exhibition at PEER is a new series titled To See Stars over Mountains (2021), consisting of 365 works on paper – one produced for every day of 2021. Each work in the series starts with a photograph the artist has taken on daily excursions, which she then playfully and radically reimagines through different interventions – cutting or tearing the paper, collaging, and drawing onto the image. The resulting works mirror, amplify, extend, repeat, and morph aspects of the landscape, transforming mundane everyday scenes into exciting new utopias, or disturbing dystopias – all offering new, boundless possibilities. Produced during a period in which we experienced unprecedented restriction in our daily lives, the work explores our relationship to the local and the everyday, encouraging us to consider our own impact on, and agency over, the spaces we inhabit.
The work will be presented in instalments across the duration of the exhibition, each displaying 53 images from the series, running in a chronological order around the second gallery space – an entire year unfolding over the course of eight weeks.
As part of her show, Horvat has produced an artist’s book presenting the entire series of 365 images comprising To See Stars over Mountains, accompanied by a text by the writer Lauren Elkin (author of No. 91/92: Notes on a Parisian Commute, and Flâneuse: Women Walk the City) written in response to the project.
In Gallery 1, Horvat presents a site-responsive sculptural installation, titled What Is on the Ground and What Is in the Sky. Made using simple found and commonplace materials, the work pushes and probes at the edges of the built environment encompassing it, challenging its confines while referencing its surroundings. Horvat’s sculptural installations regularly reconsider limits and boundaries between spaces. By creating physical barriers or intrusions into the architecture, the work addresses the possibilities and problems of inhabiting and negotiating space, exploring the effects that spatial re-organisation has on social structures, systems of exchange, and encounters with people and place.
The exhibition also includes Horvat’s recent video work, titled Until the Last of Our Labours Is Done (2021), filmed in the same fields which feature repeatedly in the series To See Stars over Mountains. The 24-minute film, shown in the back room at PEER, follows a handful of lone figures as they travel through the deserted landscape, pushing, rolling, and dragging a series of miscellaneous objects in a playful yet apparently purposeless labour. The film reflects on the relationship between humans, objects, and nature: on our overwhelming desire to control and manipulate the world around us and the undeniable reality that our future and our destination are both unknown and out of reach.
Works in the show:
What Is on the Ground and What Is in the Sky, 2022
Wooden sticks, corrugated cardboard, PVC pipe, wooden trestle, foam, doorstoppers, felt, tape
And Counting (Six), 2022
Modified clock, rubber string
To See Stars over Mountains, 2021
365 works on paper; drawing and collage on inkjet photo
To See Stars over Mountains, 2022
Window Seat, 2022
Broken double-pane window, tape, chair
Until the Last of Our Labours Is Done, 2021
Video, 24 min
Times Literary Supplement (pdf) – May 2023: Short text on To See Stars over Mountains by Lara Pawson.
recessed.space (link) – Feb 2022: “Vlatka Horvat’s collages landscapes.” In conversation with Will Jennings.
Era Journal (link) – Feb 2022: Review of By Hand, on Foot at PEER by Romilly Schulte.
Vijenac Literary Magazine (link) – Feb 2022: Feature on By Hand, on Foot by Flora Turner-Vučetić (in Croatian).
Hackney Citizen (link) – Jan 2022: Preview of By Hand, on Foot at PEER by Lizzie McAllister.