A highlight of the exhibition is the presentation of 81 Horizons (2021) in the large exhibition hall. Spanning more than 1,000 square meters, the 81-part NFT series invites visitors to stroll contemplatively as a walk-through video installation. Unlike scrolling on a personal screen, visitors move around the darkened space of the museum, gradually exploring the works presented on monitors. The individual works, and with them the series, are conceived by the artist as the most concise abstraction imaginable of a two-color pictorial space. Sky and ground are separated by a line and are connected solely by the contact of the two monochrome color surfaces.
For all their formal reduction, the horizons also touch on pictorial and emotional experiences. Like the view from a train window, different landscapes and moods pass by an inner eye. Each individual combination of colors creates individual associations in the viewer, which Rafaël Rozendaal conceived with precisely this effect in mind: a color-saturated sky and a parched landscape evoke memories of distant lands, while rain and fog depress the mood. A reduced spectrum of light and dark, of light and heavy colors separates day from night images.
First published on the Opensea platform in 2021, the NFT series is based on Rozendaal's credo of abstraction through reduction. Thus, he speaks of the "beauty of code." Through skillful programming, his sketches and instructions result in extremely small and condensed files that are permanently inscribed in the blockchain in the form of smart contracts. All files issued together reach a total volume of no more than 20 KB, which is roughly the data size of an average standard email. Throughout the project, technical, aesthetic, and even social issues continually interpenetrate. For example, each of the digital works stands on its own and has its own owner. At the same time, 81 Horizons defines itself as the sum of all variants, whether as an artist's book, a limited edition for the Kunstring Folkwang, or on the Internet, forming a fluctuating community of owners.
81 Horizons, 2021
NFTs (on-chain .svg collection)
Released by Upstream Gallery
Smart contract by Alberto Granzotto
Produced by Left Gallery
81 Horizons, 2023
Published by Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König
81 Horizons, 2023
Offset print, limited edition of 120
Edition Kunstring Folkwang