Alicja Kwade, ‘Out of Ousia (sketch)’, 2016, 303 Gallery

Art Basel Unlimited 2016 - Stand U30

In “Out of Ousia,” Alicja Kwade creates a sculptural environment that extends the limits of observable reality. A two-sided concrete wall, a double mirror, and a large piece of glass are erected, charting distinct perceptual spaces that coexist but cannot be entered simultaneously. Within these refractory environments, a found branch leans on one side of the installed concrete wall, while an exact copy of the branch made of corten steel leans opposite. In another face-off, a boulder is placed on the floor against a mirrored wall; its inverted double in aluminum peers back through the other side, the replica encroaching on the original’s impermeable reality.

As viewers circle the work, the quadrants begin to bleed into each other, creating a notional parallel plane where verifiable objects and their makeshift doubles become jumbled. Time itself grows an appendage, as drawing an object “out" of Ousia - an Aristotelean concept of inherent substance or being - corrupts linear experience. The installation presents a framework to color a viewer’s understanding of his or her own surroundings, introducing an elliptical conception of subjectivity into one's perception of reality.

About Alicja Kwade

Alicja Kwade’s mixed-media works manipulate mental perceptions and physical experiences of how the body inhabits space and time. Kwade frequently uses imperfect doubling, mirror images, and repetition in her practice. For example, Dimension +1-+9 (2012) and Dimension -1--9 (2012) are a pair of clocks ticking just faster and slower than one second; Nissan (Parallelwelt 1 + 2) (2009) features two Nissan cars as mirror images, including topical scratches. Her common materials include items found in everyday life—like coins, metal pipes, mirrors, glass, lights, and bicycles—that she then distorts to create sensory illusions. The results, sometimes slouching or stretching, can appear anthropomorphic. A recent installation Durchbruch durch Schwäche (Breakthrough Through Weakness) (2011), comprised of over 300 clock weights, was based on the closing sequence of Christopher Nolan’s 2010 film Inception.

Polish, b. 1979, Katowice, Poland, based in Berlin, Germany