In Abwesenheit
Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Germany, 2021


“In Abwesenheit” (In Absence) is founded on recent works by Kwade that might in a broad sense be read as self-portraits. The artist explores how a person and their physical presence in space can be described from various methodological perspectives.

The work “Self-Portrait” consists of 24 glass ampoules containing, in pure form, the chemical elements that make up the human body. There is a large installation based on the artist’s fully sequenced DNA, printed out on 314,000 pages of paper. The human genome in the digital era is also the theme of the bronze stelae: here the artist has shaped numerous overlapping smartphones into a double helix.

The central piece locates an individual physically in time and space. A ring of black steel in the middle of the hall reaches almost to the ceiling. 24 loudspeakers have been mounted on it and transmit the artist’s heartbeat into the exhibition room.

@ Images Roman März