Sunday, August 1, 2010


On July 31, 2010 Vlatka Horvat spent the entire day in the Los Angeles River with fifty chairs.

She started at nine in the morning and with only brief breaks, moved the chairs around the thirty thousand foot space where the River flows under Fletcher Avenue near the 2 Freeway. Throughout the day, on-lookers watched from the bridge or wandered down to the River’s edge as Vlatka created pattern after pattern with blue skies, swifts and egrets for company.

Julie Deamer of Outpost Contemporary Art sponsored the installation with a reception in the burgeoning art district developing in China Town.

Every cliché one can think of has been uttered about art at one time or another. To call Horvat’s performance an installation; her installation a performance, performance art or by any other name, is to diminish it. The Work was in the moment. For one short day in July the art was mostly in the artist who generously included appreciative patrons warmed by a perfect California day.

In eight hours' time, moving
steadily at a dancer’s pace, Horvat arranged each piece of her ever changing puzzle one or two chairs at a time. The patterns, moment to moment improvising, ever calculating her next move evolved kaleidoscopically. Patterns in the design, emphasized by the gently flowing River, occasional applause as she completed one pattern, was not acknowledged.

The Artist, the medium and the River all flowing together, punctuated a moment in time: the reflection's come and gone.

michael sheehan

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