Vlatka Horvat - By Hand, on Foot

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PEER is pleased to present an exhibition of ambitious new work by Vlatka Horvat (b. 1974, Croatia). Horvat is a London-based artist whose practice spans sculpture, installation, collage, video, and photography, as well as performance, writing, and public interventions. Across different forms and media, Horvat investigates the precarious relationships between bodies, objects, the built environment, and nature by redrawing and reimaging the physical, social, and environmental boundaries experienced in our everyday lives. Her work frequently explores how we occupy, share, and navigate spaces and structures.

Having exhibited extensively across Europe, USA and further afield, this will be Horvat’s first solo exhibition in London, where she has lived for more than a decade. Central to the exhibition at PEER will be an epic 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 her 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 seven instalments across the duration of the exhibition, each displaying 53 images from the series, running in a linear chronological order around the second gallery space at PEER – an entire year unfolding over the course of eight weeks. To See Stars over Mountains will also be presented as an artist book documenting the entire series of 365 images, alongside 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. The 376-page book, published as a collaboration between PEER and Unstable Object, will launch at the opening of the exhibition and will be available to purchase at PEER and online.

Alongside works on paper, Horvat will present a site-responsive sculptural installation that will dominate the first gallery space. Made using simple found and commonplace materials, the work will push and probe at the edges of the built environment encompassing it, challenging its confines. Horvat’s sculptural installations regularly reconsider limits and boundaries. By creating physical barriers or intrusions into the architecture, Horvat directly addresses the possibilities and problems of inhabiting and negotiating space, and the effects that this can have on social structures, systems of exchange, and encounters with people and place.

The exhibition will also include 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 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.