Playful and poetic, the works of David Horvitz meddle with the systems of language, time and networks. Eschewing categorisation, his works examine questions of distance between places, people and time in order to test the possibilities of appropriating, undermining or even erasing this distance. Harnessing image, text, object and flows which he mobilises to circulate and operate independently from himself, penetrate ever more effectively the intimate sphere. Left face to face with his works, even those based in ephemeral action, our attention is drawn to the importance of detail and to the infinitesimal provoking the potentialities of the imaginary. Like rhymes or lullabies that become imprinted in memory, Horvitz deploys art as both object of contemplation and as viral tool to effect change on the level of the individual.
For prologue, David Horvitz proposes an itinerant experience by utilising 25 laundromats throughout the 9th, 10th, and 18th arrondissements of Paris in which the public becomes key actor. This project, shown in a space as intimate as it is public, presents a simple pile of posters left anonymously by the artist with each laundromat containing a poster that represents a letter of the alphabet taken from his children’s book Touch the sky with your eye (Jean Boîte, Paris, 2019). The 25 different poster artworks freely available in undisclosed laundromats throughout the northeast of the capital, are completed by a 26th – disseminated as the poster-invitation of the exhibition. In a viral pattern, the seemingly innocuous poster spreads within the intimate sphere of those who encounter it. Together the posters compose the 26 letters of the alphabet, undermining the instructional and rote – learnt ABC by inviting each reader to encounter the world differently through imagination. For the artist underwriting the base components of written language with another vision of the world sets in motion a ripple effect for future, and perhaps even utopian, possibilities.
David Horvitz has been the subject of multiple solo exhibitions internationally including most recently at SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo (2019); la Criée centre d’art contemporain, Rennes (2019); ChertLüdde, Berlin (2019); Château Shatto, Los Angeles (2018); Albertinum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SDK), Dresde (2018); Galerie Allen, Paris (2017); and the New Museum, New York (2014). David Horvitz has also been invited to participate in major international group exhibitions held at the Biennale d’art contemporain Phenomenon, Anafi (2019); SFMOMA – San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco (2019); S.M.A.K. – Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent (2018); Le Centquatre, Paris (2018); Hangar Bicocca, Milan (2017); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2017); and the MoMA – Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015).
Image: David Horvitz, poster from Touch the sky with your eye, published by Jean Boîte Éditions, Paris 2019. Graphic design: Joanna Starck. Reproductions: Antonin Verrier. Editorial : Mathieu Cénac and David Desrimais. Courtesy the artist & Jean Boîte Éditions.