Rebecca Horn writing at her desk scattered with paperwork in her office in front of her trinkets on display.

Rebecca Horn

Rebecca Horn’s contribution to the 1987 Luna Luna park was the Interactive Thermometer to Measure Emotions

For Luna Luna, Rebecca Horn provided Love Thermometer, a functional thermometer measured not with numbers but poetic words such as “magic,” “embrace,” and “loneliness.”

Artist

Rebecca Horn

Attraction

Love Thermometer

Born

1944, Germany

Horn is known for performances featuring prosthetics and sculptural extensions of bodily features, and installations with found objects and animated machines

Her work frequently explores the boundaries of the human body and physical sensation

Her kinetic sculptures use technology to animate everyday objects in unexpected ways

Rebecca Horn.

Rebecca Horn, Love Thermometer to measure emotions, exhibited 1987.

Rebecca Horn creates sculptures, performances, installations, and films that explore the relationship between the human body and the world it inhabits, both organic and man-made. This exploration began in 1968 when Horn contracted a lung condition that forced her to stop using sculptural materials like fiberglass and polyester. A subsequent period of hospitalization inspired a series of sculptures made from soft textile materials, reminiscent of bandages and prosthetic limbs.

Rebecca Horn.

Rebecca Horn, Love Thermometer to measure emotions, exhibited 1987.

These experiments led to the creation of wearable structures made of wood, metal, and fabric in the 1970s. For example, Horn added meter-long protheses to her fingers, or attached a mask of pencils to her head, forming fairytale-esque extensions to her own body that blended fantasy and reality in performances documented in photographs, film, and video. In the following years, Horn made kinetic sculptures and installations that brought ordinary objects to life, such as mechanized trembling spoons, fluttering suitcases, or her sculpture of two steel “horns” that meet in an electric kiss.

For Luna Luna, Rebecca Horn provided Love Thermometer, a functional thermometer measured not with numbers but poetic words such as “magic,” “embrace,” and “loneliness.” The thermometer is filled with red liquid that rises up the stem in response to heat. Audience members held the thermometer to receive a “diagnosis” depending on their degree of body warmth.

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