“My work starts where I stop understanding it.” Join us as we visit the praised Polish artist Alicja Kwade in her Berlin-studio. Kwade talks about and shows her beautiful work – where stones are shaped like planets and placed in planetary systems made from polished steel – which represents her ongoing fascination with time, space and gravity.
Kwade considers gravity the ultimate power, the force that allows us to be here, and which is also essential when it comes to working with sculpture: “Weight, proportion, stability and balance. You can’t escape it.” When making her sculptures, she tries to “visually trick it out,” working on the very border of what gravity allows before the sculpture collapses. Since the beginning, the circling system has been repeated in Kwade’s work as it embodies the metres she tries to understand – time, space and gravity: “Automatically that brings you to a circulation.” The stone spheres also represent different dimensions and possibilities, and what Kwade considers “the random point of our existence.” Daily problems, she argues, fade when you think about the fact that we are living on a rotating rock somewhere in the universe: “Right now we are sitting on a spinning sphere somewhere in the universe, which is rotating with 3,600 kilometres per hour. It’s so absurd, so all the rest is kind of funny.” In continuation of this, Kwade explains that she is trying to answer the same impossible questions as science and philosophy: “We are really poor animals – we are able to ask, but we’re too stupid to get the answer.”
Alicja Kwade (b. 1979) is a Polish mixed-media artist, known for her sculptural mediations on time, space and the nature of objects that manipulate the viewers’ mental perceptions. Solo exhibitions include Kunsthalle Kiel in Kiel, Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich and Whitechapel Gallery in London. Kwade has also participated in the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. Her work is represented in the collection of prominent museums such as Mudam Luxembourg in Luxembourg and Centre Pompidou in Paris. She lives and works in Berlin. For more see: alicjakwade.com/
Alicja Kwade was interviewed at her studio in Kreuzberg, Berlin by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen in August 2018.
Camera: Rasmus Quistgaard
Produced and edited by: Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2018
Supported by Nordea-fonden