The is a something visually confusing about Roni Horn’s Well and Truly, on show at the moment in at Punta della Dogana as part if the exhibition In Praise of Doubt. The work consists of a number of similar cast glass sculptures each of which looks like water, solidified – but somehow, inexplicably, as solid water, rather than ice – in the form of a low straight-sided dish (that is, as a short column with a slight rounding where the sides meet the base). The sides look sanded (though this is from contact with the mold during casting) but the tops, which dip slightly, are clear and reflect their surroundings.
Though not a sight one would ever hope to see, a row of bodies covered in sheets is easy enough to understand. The first thing that feels wrong here is the solidity of the sheets; the row of figures are marble statuary rather than fabric covered human remains. This realisation gives the figures a new familiarity, one rooted in religious representation.
Take a closer look though and all is not as it seems…
There is something slightly terrifying about Thomas Schütte’s The Efficency Men. The metal frame bodies are strange and the blankets round their shoulders give an air of pathos but ultimately it’s the eyes in their oversize heads that get me. Staring into the eyes of one of the figures isn’t at all comfortable.