A decade after the Spiriti di madreperla installation in Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, the fascination with 'capuzzelle', skulls representing the souls of purgatory, is still so vivid in the imaginary of the German artist that she decided to dedicate another exhibit to this theme.
On 25 September, 2002, Rebecca Horn was in Naples and was welcomed by a very elderly couple into their home to hear their account of the age-old religious cult of the souls of Purgatory.
These were the nameless, abandoned souls who died in the various outbreaks of the plague or under other violent circumstances and hadn't had the time to repent of their sins thereby gaining access to eternal beatitude. Their skulls and bones were massed in common ossuaries like the Cemetary of the Fontanelle or in the crypts of several Neapolitan churches.
According to popular belief, these souls appear in the dreams of the devoted to ask for their prayers and some solicitude for their bodily remains in return for miracles. The devoted accept this exchange and literally adopt a skull, affectionately called capuzzella, which they care for, polishing it and praying for its soul.
The special relationship of reciprocal solidarity between the dead and the living, which characterizes Neapolitan culture, the constant flow of energy between the hereafter and earthly existence and uninterrupted communication between these two dimensions, continue to serve as a source of inspiration Rebecca Horn. Some new sculptures of transformation and drawings are being shown at the Studio Trisorio
Rebecca Horn has exhibited in numerous leading museums: the Wiesbaden Museum, the Folkwang Museum in Essen, the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville in Paris, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Guggenheim in New York, the Tate Gallery and the Serpentine and Hayward Galleries in London. In 1997, she participated in the Venice Biennale and in March of 2007, she was awarded the prestigious Jawlensky Award and the Martin Bropius Bau Museum in Berlin dedicated a retrospective exhibit to her work. In 2008, she exhibited at the Rupertinum Museum of Modern Art in Salzburg and directed and acted as stage and costume designer for the Palermo-native composer Salvatore Sciarrino's opera Luci Mie Traditrici at the Salzburg Festival. In 2010, she was awarded the Praemium Imperiale in Tokyo and in 2011 and the Grande Médaille des Arts Plastiques from the Académie d'Architecture de Paris.
In Italy, her installations are part of the permanent collections at the MADRE Museum in Naples and at the Castello di Rivoli in Turin. She has been working with Studio Trisorio since 2003.