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Anaïs Horn: Longing Ghosts in Deep Blue Paranoia

Drama Books, Paris, 2022.
With texts by Estelle Hoy and Francesca Lazzarini & Giulio Polita.

Designed and co-edited by Boah Kim.

The publication presents Anaïs Horn’s work complex “Longing Ghosts in Deep Blue Paranoia“ (2022), which is dedicated to Charlotte of Belgium, who lived in the Castle of Miramare (IT) after her wedding to Maximilian of Austria. When he became emperor of Mexico in 1864 their tragic story started to unfold: Suffering from a hopeless political situation, a lack of love, and unfulfilled motherhood, she was diagnosed mentally ill at the age of 26. After his execution in 1867 she spent 50 years in isolation. 

In the first part of the book Horn’s photographic series “Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte“ explores the secret memories of the Castle’s stage-like rooms, the uncanny of the past appearing in reflections, dead angles, and blurs. The photographs are interwoven with Estelle Hoy’s poetic text “Princess-cut diamonds“, which embodies Charlotte’s voice but also reincarnates her thoughts into the present. The second part of the book features Francesca Lazzarini’s and Giulio Polita’s text “Everybody wants to be a queen“, which opens the discourse around the topic with architectural, historical and theoretical ideas.

Followed by Horn’s drawings which are inspired by Charlotte’s last, mad letters to her already-dead husband, the book closes with a series of video stills from Horn’s eponymous video work. She filmed secret interventions in the Miramare park: floating, ghost-like objects with surveillance lens, referring to Charlotte's anxieties.

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