Interview between Helene Bosecker and Jenny Brockmann about the installation Horizon
H.B.: What does the word Horizon mean?
J.B.: The horizon is by definition the line between heaven and earth. According to our coordinate system and in the context of gravity, the horizon is the dividing line between top and bottom. In his phenomenology of intersubjectivity Edmund Husserl defined the horizon as a process of making visible, of showing (revealing) possibilities, e.g. the form of a house of which we only see/perceive one facade with its windows and doors will, according to our experience, be completed in our mind with its intended rear wall. It is significant that, the more we move away from the earth, the Horizon is broader. With an eye height of 2 m, the horizon is about 5 km, at an eye height of 100m, it is possible to look 35 km far. The view of (or the sight on) the horizon is a very physical moment, at the same time it is also a very emotional moment.
H.B.: Can a horizon exist in an interior space or does it then create just an image of a Horizon?
J.B.: The horizon exists in outer space in its original definition. Though the completely open view of the horizon is provided solely on the sea. Due to landscape (trees, mountains) and urban landscape (houses, squares, towers) features, the horizon is sometimes more and sometimes less visible.
Through our „intersubjective“ (according to Husserl) horizon and our perspective defined by the eye level, the „knowledge“ of the horizon has an impact on our perception. This influences also our perception in the interior space: we are moving in the interior space with the consciousness of the horizon in the outer space. The architecturally designed space is predestined to deceive us in our remembrance of the horizon. There are architectural buildings in which we lose orientation or in which we don’t know anymore which height / distance we are from the earth.. Therefore, I consider the architecture having such a radical effect on our mind and body.
The horizon which I create in the interior is at first a drawing. This drawing generates through its horizontal axis a separation between the top and bottom of the room. This horizon moves slowly up and down and thus the surface below and above gets larger or smaller. Our visual axis/line of sight will be over or below the horizon. This changes, depending on the location of the horizon, and has an impact on our perception of the space itself.
H.B.: Does a horizon divide or connect?
J.B.: As described very aptly by Georg Simmel, there is no connection (in his case he considered the bridge and the door) which does not connect and divide at the same time. By building a bridge, we connect two banks together and create a transition. The bridge shows at the same time, that there are two banks, which were initially separated. The horizon line marks the connection between earth and sky, bottom and the above. The horizon divides and is yet the unifying element which shows how directly these two things are connected and how fundamental they are for us -we move upon the horizon.
H.B.: Which position of the horizon in the room makes you feel most comfortable or at ease?
J.B.: The horizon far beyond my line of sight, draws me stronger in the interior of a space. If the horizon is below my eye level it removes my sense of self from the room. The horizon at eye level is somehow soothing for me. I also have created horizons that extend obliquely or kink in the room. They are disconcerting/disturbing me.
H.B.: The horizon exists only in the distance – or? What happens if you zoom in on the horizon?
J.B.: The horizon, as a feature of our landscape, is the far distant point we can see. It is rare that we take the time to look at the horizon that surrounds us. Rather, it is visible to us in pictures, photographs, and paintings. For this reason, I asked people in Berlin for a photo of their horizons. I wanted to share what these people see. These photos give us the opportunity to look at the horizon from a proximity, similar to the way which opens up when I install a horizon in the interior space. We do not lose completely the knowledge of the real horizon, if we look at it up close, but just in relation to the natural horizon, the horizon that is close to us is predestined to be looked at in an abstracted and thus interpretative way. I believe that the horizon of people in Berlin is a different one than that of people in Tokyo or New York