In Prince of Networks, Graham Harman refers to Eidos, the logical structure of any culture, as a situation in which “the sensual object exists in a duel with its real qualities.”
Distending the space around a thing, ensuring that it simultaneously inhabits its own thingness more fully as well as pointing to the impossibility of a thing as a static concept. For their first solo exhibition, New York 303 Gallery present the Polish-born, Berlin-based artist Alicja Kwade, known for using sculpture as a means to tap into the most elemental questions of human sensibility and probe the concentric systems of perception that constitute reality. By elevating natural everyday objects into art, Kwade reopens the locked doors of scientific, religious, and philosophical models accepted as social agreements and universal truths.
Kwade‘s exhibition features sculptures she refers to as paravents, works that cut and double space in combination with classic sculptural components. In these pieces, panels of glass and double mirrors become the physical markers of the points at which objects both begin to inhabit their objecthood, and distance themselves from it. They hover between image space and physical space, creating a dialectical tension that vibrates the barriers between the real and the imagined. It is at that point that reality becomes both infinite and non-existent, dilating into an unknowable beyond.
Bronze rings twisted into the shapes of border markers between the Earth’s time zones hang coaxially conjoined from the gallery’s ceiling, symbolizing the world in its state of a perpetual 24-hour loop. Along the gallery’s walls, sheets of coated mirror begin to adopt the characteristics of identical sheets of rusted steel. Decay bleeds from one material to the next and glimpses of different realities are seen at the same time. A brass ring floor sculpture envisions the fleeting forms of a circle spinning on its own edge – encompasing, with a Muybridgean simultaneity, nuclear shapes. The work grasps for visual patterns in the structure of time, positing forms born in nature, explained in science, and processed through an uncanny metaphysical ability to reduce the irreducible.