T i m o t h y H o r n

Cinderella Complex (2001)
Exhibition of 11 objects that form a queer retelling of the Cinderella myth, that was shown at the Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra, August 2001.

"The 'precious' is central to Timothy Horn's concerns, although here a playfully camp irony has inflated and transformed it into the 'gorgeous'. The point of reference for Horn's jewellery-like sculptures is the court of Louis XVI, where aristocrats vied with each other to wear bigger, gaudier, more expensive jewellery to each successive court appearance. In this world, size does matter, and Horn has exploded the baroque ornamentalism of courtly refinement to a larger-than-life scale, creating hypertrophic fantasy accessories for the brash, the shameless and the proud. If 'queer sensibility' can be defined in part as a celebration of the fake and the ornamental, and a transvaluation of the hierarchies of 'taste', Horn plays these themes to the hilt, titling his monstrous baubles with trashy sexual puns such as Golden Showers, Pink Bits or Bump 'n' Grind.

Horn explores jewellery as a site for fantasy, self-expression, eroticism and display. His Cinderella Complex series, crafted from nickel-plated bronze, lead crystal and Easter egg foil, are like props for an upscale pantomime drag show, what he calls 'a queer rewriting of the Cinderella myth'. Glass Slipper, for instance, performs an Alice-in-Wonderland transmogrification of scale, turning a piece of bijou footwear into something both exquisite and monstrous. Bearded Clam, which translates details from the interior of Residenz - the baroque masterpiece by eighteenth century architect Balthasar Neumann -hints, as in a glass darkly, at the cruel vanity of fairytale godmothers, discovering something dark and libidinal buried in the folds of genteel ornament, a coiled force, a Sadean civility."

Russell Smith
From his Samstag catalogue essay;
Making The Makers