David Horvitz: Gnomons



As part of the New Museum’s ongoing Stowaway Series, David Horvitz realizes a special project for the Museum’s Shaft Space, located between the Third and Fourth Floors.

Cover Image:

French bell (from 1742) melted to create part of David Horvitz’s Let Us Keep Our Own Noon (2013). Installation of forty-seven bronze bells, turnings, slag, and a performance with forty-seven performers at local noon. Photo: Michael Metzler from Der Glockenladen, Berlin, on site at their bell foundry in Slovakia. Courtesy the artist and Chert, Berlin

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In his practice, Horvitz grapples with time and standardized measurements, and the shifts that occur when natural phenomena are subjected to manmade systems and vice versa. Unfolding as concrete actions, Horvitz’s works are often ongoing or self-generating projects. Taking advantage of diverse systems of circulation, he gathers and disperses images and objects through media such as the internet, the postal system, libraries, and airport lost and found services. Optimistically alluding to the possibility of an alternative logic, Horvitz exploits the structures in place around him as much as he deliberately counters patterns derived from professionalization and efficiency.

Titled “Gnomons” after the device on a sundial, which effectively produced the first image of time in the form of a shadow, Horvitz’s presentation includes the work Let us keep our own noon (2013), consisting of forty-seven handbells created through the remelting of a French church bell dating back to 1742. The work is activated by forty-seven performers who, at local noon (when the sun is positioned exactly above the New Museum), collectively ring the bells and then disperse throughout the building and out onto the surrounding streets of the Museum. Referencing the bygone practice of navigating time according to the position of the sun, the work reminds us that our daily rhythms are not solely determined by tradition and locality, but also rooted in global forces. In another work, The Distance of a Day (2013), Horvitz journeyed halfway around the world to the exact location where he could see the sunrise in the same moment that his mother was watching the sunset in California. Rather than emphasizing the result of a journey or the duality of here and there, Horvitz creates an image of the measurement that separates two people in time—exactly one day.

David Horvitz was born in California in 1982 and lives in Brooklyn. Recent solo exhibitions include: concurrent shows at Jan Mot, Brussels, and Dawid Radziszewski Gallery, Warsaw; Peter Amby, Copenhagen; Statements, Art Basel; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; and Chert, Berlin. His work has been shown at EVA International 2014, Glasgow International 2014, LIAF 2013, MoMA, The Kitchen, and the New Museum. In New York, he has realized projects with Recess, Clocktower Gallery, post at MoMA, Printed Matter, Rhizome, and Triple Canopy. Recent artist books include The Distance of a Day (2013; Motto Books & Chert) and Sad, Depressed, People, (2012; New Documents). He has received the Rema Hort Mann Grant in 2011 and was nominated for the Discovery Award at Les Rencontres d’Arles in 2011. In 2013, he founded Porcino gallery in Berlin. This summer, he will have his first solo exhibition at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles.

“David Horvitz: Gnomons” is on view at the New Museum from May 7–June 29, 2014, and is curated by Helga Christoffersen, Assistant Curator.

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“David Horvitz: Gnomons” is supported by the Toby Devan Lewis Emerging Artists Exhibitions Fund.

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