I think of Asphere as a self-portrait. I don't think I made it as a self-portrait, but when I look at it I see that it has characteristics that I identify with very strongly. One of those qualities is that it's not a sphere, and it's nothing else. I can relate to that. It's not an egg or a ball. It doesn't have a name or a word that closes it off from things. In the best way, it's just floating out there without a clear identity.1
1 Roni Horn as quoted on the website Art: 21—Art in the Twenty-First Century <http://www.pbs.org/art21/slideshow/?slide= 703&artindex=88> (2001-2005), accessed 12 September 2006.
I have always felt androgyny as central to my relationship with both myself and the work. As far as an individual's experience with a given work goes, I throw the issue of self-identity back out to the viewer.1
1 Roni Horn, "Weather Girls (Interview with Collier Schorr)," Frieze, no. 32 (January/February 1997), as excerpted in Louise Neri et. al, Roni Horn (London: Phaidon, 2000), p. 125.
This drawing suggests that the "asphere" form can be understood as either integration or separation — as a fusion of two similarly shaped figures or as a splitting of one original entity. Taking the latter view into consideration, the letters in the center of the golden forms may resemble chromosome-like structures. Horn's questions of formal definition (and identity) are underscored by the word these letters seem to spell: "who."
Asphere is a spherical looking object which is distorted out of its sphericity slightly. The distortion is so subtle it is barely visible. So it's not a sphere and it's nothing else. To me it's like an homage to androgyny. Androgyny is the integration of difference as a source of identity. When you combine the one with the other you come towards a synthetic identity, one that is not so nameable. You know, not that kind of mutually exclusive form of identity like gender…Somebody said it is something that at first seems familiar and as you spend more time with it [it] becomes less and less familiar.1
1 Claudia Spinelli, Interview with Roni Horn (June 1995), Journal of Contemporary Art <http://www.jca-online.com/horn.html> 1997, accessed 4 October 2006.