Natural Disposition
Skulpturenpark Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany, 2023


A presentation of four works by Alicja Kwade is featured at Skulpturenpark in Heidelberg for Summer 2023, highlighted by the arrival of her recent installation for the Place Vendôme in Paris, PARS PRO TOTO, 2020. This work consists of 8 stone spheres created from quarries sourced from nearly every continent around the globe. Laid out together, these resemble a kind of improbable, scaled-down version of the cosmos, or alternatively, a scaled-up diagram of atomic particles. The undecidability is an inherent feature of the work, giving shape to the double infinity of scale that is a foundational structure of the universe – both infinitesimally and unfathomably big.

Additionally, Kwade has chosen to include two other multi-part sculptures for the park – BIG BE-HIDE, 2022 and WÄCHTER (ANSCHAUUNGSVORSTELLUNG), 2013 – as well as SIÈGE DU MONDE, 2022, featuring a marble sphere nestled within the seat of a wicker chair. BIG BE-HIDE is made of steel frames set at right angles to one another with a two-sided mirror and granite boulder placed at the nexus of the frames’ conjunction, effectively doubling both the objects contained within the sculpture and the context surrounding it.

In WÄCHTER (ANSCHAUUNGSVORSTELLUNG), Kwade moves from the spherical world of PARS PRO TOTO into more hard-edged geometric forms and shifts their scale to that of a seated or standing body. Their position vis-à-vis one another stages an impossible predicament of perspective, in which no one set of relationships can properly account for the whole. These leaps from that which can be represented to that which ultimately escapes our everyday experience of the natural universe is also what animates SIÈGE DU MONDE, in which the seat of a chair is filled with an immovable marble sphere, perhaps a nod to the process of reading and learning that so often takes places on said objects (chairs), in which the desire to take hold of some incontrovertible fact of the world is first attempted.

© Images Thomas Henne