In Caspar David Friedrich's The Monk by the Sea of 1808-1810, a lone figure, a monk according to the title, stands before a stormy sea, the horizon blurred by turbulence, a vision of conquest of wild unknowns (the romantic sublime) also a time on the eve of photographic reproductions of such natures.
In Horvitz here, we see the same, essential composition and perhaps concern (albeit at a safer distance behind fences et al), though now the sublime seems to have shifted from, narcissism aside (you know, looking into the water and recognizing ones reflected image and falling love), a thought about water, transparency and seriality. Concerning the latter, one can’t help but see parallels between the two juxtaposed rooms of glass containers (framed photograph on the one hand and hand-blown vessel on the other) and how through reference of subject and difference of perspective we may consider what lies therein. The photographs contain a lone figure looking toward a calm horizon; with the glass vessels on the floor (which somehow seem to differentiate the real space of viewing) each viewer or group of viewers may peer into a calm body of water. Am I or are we to see ourselves as the lone figure?
Formally, Sugimoto comes to mind here from a recent body of his work that I saw in 2012 at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (See here) as a part of Phantoms of Asia. With Sugimoto one is able to contemplate landscape and being as a function of both glass vessel and photograph (sourced through a reflected glass lens as we know). So, the optical materiality of glass itself attempts to filter a clear picture in some sense (our own eyes implicated) and what can be seen between a representation (a photograph) and some literal presentation (a glass vessel), never mind that the self never resolves (perhaps the best part of the sculptural installation in Horvitz) and that further on a topical note, certainly in Southern California, is our ability to contemplate the precious resource of water, ocean water in this instance though, thereby suturing ourselves as vessels of water as well. What we are rather than what we must consume.
While I never found myself, actually, I connected on an intellectual level with much of the Horvit'z concern here, at least how I was seeing it, a thought about immersive conditions in two adjoining rooms.