Au Cours des Mondes
Place Vendôme, Paris, France, 2022


"This installation is about the world, us stepping around it and trying to find a position on this planet, searching for a rule in power, playing games, developing hierarchies, and doing all those useless things but at the end of the day, we have to face the absurdity of being placed all together on a spinning globe, a sphere and flying around in the void." Alicja Kwade

Alicja Kwade, an internationally renowned Berlin-based artist, presents AU COURS DES MONDES, curated by Jérôme Sans. This installation sets a dialogue between new structures combining natural stone globes and endless concrete stairs with a set of natural stone spheres, a recurring motif for the artist. A veritable initiatory journey in the public space, the installation questions our relationship to knowledge, the universe, and the mechanisms of power.

Faced with the attempts and failures of science and philosophy to explain the world and the place of man within it, Alicja Kwade displaces the quest for knowledge too often carried by a quest for power, and bases her questions beyond rationality and anthropocentrism. The relation to things, therefore, changes: from the atom to the planet, forms are repeated and hierarchies fall. By opposing the absolute organic disorder to the vacuity of control, she draws the possibilities of a curved answer to the drama of the line, temporal or spatial, always condemning to an end or a fall.

Having no use for the measurement systems invented to capture or occupy an often derisory part of it, the illusion of humanity's power over the universe is broken. The amplitude of the spheres and their presence in the place impose a physical experience of the matter and its gravity. In response to the ecological emergency, Alicja Kwade does not warn of the destruction of the universe, only of the world as we know it. Nevertheless, she optimistically calls for our collective potential for transformation.

Palimpsest of the power structures, designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the official architect of King Louis XIV, the Place Vendôme invested by the installation becomes the theater of a paradox between human time and cosmic infinity. Alicja Kwade underlines the fragility of furtive humanity seeking its place in an elusive universe.

Curated by Commissariat par Jérôme Sans.
As part of Paris+ par Art Basel “Sites” program and with the support of Kamel Mennour.

© Courtesy of the artist and kamel mennour, Paris
© Images Archives kamel mennour