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Alicja Kwade

Pars pro Toto (2019)

The Berlin-based artist Alicja Kwade is known for her investigations of scientific and social conventions, systems, and codes. One system we use constantly unquestioningly to tame this unknown dimension is time. Kwade is a horologist as much as she is a sculptor: she sees the universe, like Leibniz before her, as a giant clock whose mechanical parts turn at a glacial pace. Timepieces figure prominently in Kwade’s oeuvre, as do rocks, mirrors, metals, and glass constructions, all of which stand in some kind of fundamental connection to the questions of how we create our reality – often by structuring it based on man-made definitions. It’s these kinds of agreements and phenomena that animate her practice. For her first edition for Texte zur Kunst, Kwade set one of her trademark spherical stones – an ashen round ornamented with concentric circles that look like rivers on a distant planet or moon – in a dark and craggy landscape. The image captures this celestial body as it appears to orbit the darkness of outer space, illuminated on one side, on the other eclipsed in shadow. This planetoid object sits on the ground in close proximity to what appears to be a manhole cover on a dark street somewhere. Kwade’s image, like the metaphor of the universe as clock, posits the celestial and the terrestrial as inherently linked. Did this heavenly body drop from the sky – like a parallel world, detached and fallen out of its own system, now disconnected and alone?

Fine Art Inkjet Print, 59.4 x 42 cm, edition: 100 + 20 A.P., numbered and signed on the back, € 350.- plus shipping.