The first time I visited Alicja´s new studio was on the occasion of her moving-in party. Today, only a few months later, the studio looks as if she has always been there. Work in progress all around; huge model replicas of museum spaces to simulate upcoming shows, photographs of situations which inspired her artworks, and collections of flea-market acquisitions she might use for some of her future objects. We also get to see installation pieces due for Art-Basel-Miami-Beach. They will never come back, I´m afraid, because Alicja Kwade´s artwork is sought after the world over.
Driven and inspired, Alicja converted this historic space, a once famous film studio then a GDR-laundry, into her very own enchanting world.
It is hard not to be captured by the persuasive and complex poetry of Alicja Kwades work. In this environment, even a prosaic fork-lift seems to be charged with a different meaning!
But far from supplying mere enjoyment, she unsettles the viewer.
We see a tree branch leaning on a wall. Then on the opposite wall there is another identical branch, but mirrored. For an installation, the second branch (which was 3D scanned and milled) would be placed in another room, making you wonder if or what you have seen before. To make it even more confusing, she provides a third one – this time an iron casting with rust patina.
More magic: An oval mirror seems to melt away, a reaction apparently caused by the rod installed below.
Tucked away in a corner of the studio is a round table, divided into quadrants - each of them separated by mirrors. From different angles you can still see the table as a whole. In fact, you can see four complete tables in one.
What seems like magic, is calculated and highly rational work. In one of her series she stacks different metal plates ( gold/ silver/ tin/ nickel, copper, lead, zink, and Aluminium) on top of each other in ascending order, all sharing the same monetary value as five grams of gold, which is placed on top. The weight and dimensions are thereby predefined by the value given to the metals on a particular day, hour, minute and second on the stock market.
Johann Koenig Gallery, Berlin | http://www.johannkoenig.de/56/alicja_kwade/selected_works.html
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