"I first went to Iceland in 1975. I travelled with a tent, hitchhiking and walking, then on a motorcycle, but still with a tent. So I was outside most of the time, and I often found myself heading for the hot springs. They became a kind of shelter. They took the form of hot pots or swimming pools. Sometimes they are located in remote places, so I found myself pool-hopping to these exquisite faraway places and spending a lot of time in the middle of nowhere, outside, in hot water. It struck me at the time as a great combination. When I look back, I am reminded of Burt Lancaster in the film called The Swimmer. He is divorced and having had the time of his life for years, he now wants to go home; he's alone. And so he is swimming home, pool-hopping home, and home is somewhere in suburban Connecticut. And you watch him going from one backyard to the next. He was in a swimsuit throughout the whole film and you felt his sensitivity to everything, and his vulnerability. So here I am, looking for shelter. and those pools were a great form of shelter. I was in these amazing settings, way out there in the thick of it, so to speak, alone but protected. Sometimes in the middle of a desert. For me, a desert is confrontational in a way, because it's so dogmatic. But here it was a totally sensual experience. And that happened a lot in Iceland, where you were in places that you would normally associate with difficult, aggressive things and they became alluring and attractive, comforting really."
The cover of the excellent Phaidon book on Roni Horn, showing the Hot Pot at Strútur (1991)