Forecasting Horizon

May 23 - June 28 2014

Galleri Nicolai Wallner is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of new works by Alicja Kwade, Forecasting Horizon. Opening a dialogue about time, reality and social agreements, Kwade examines how our concept of time determines much of what we understand about space, and how we conceive of our own reality. The exhibition is presented in a dual form, which some of the works in each room literally mirroring each other, creating an environment in which the spectator can explore encounters different, yet similar interpretations of time and essence of things.

The idea that time has the ability to determine our daily reality, as well as the idea of value and space, is explored in the two works Freitag, 21. Juni 2013, 15:30.11 Uhr (2014) and Donnerstag, 13 März 2014, 11:21:00 Uhr (2014). Slabs of gold, silver, nickel, tin, copper, lead, zinc and aluminium are placed in relation to each other. The dimensions of each element are determined by their market value at the specific moment designated in the work’s title—taking as their starting point the value of 5 grams of gold. Together, the layers become physical manifestations of a singular, identifiable point in time—to change this time by even a second, as is demonstrated by the changes in size and order of the elements between the two works, would potentially alter the sculpture’s form entirely. While the connection between this form and our daily lives may seem at first abstract, the price of gold is drive up in times of financial crisis as people conceive of it as dependable. The result is an influx in prices that in turn influence all other industrial metals, which then influences all products we use in our daily lives.

However, this idea of time is not understood only as being a specific moment, but something that equally extends to the past and to the future, an idea alluded to in the title of the exhibition. Forecasting Horizon suggests at the very least a desire, and perhaps even an ability, to predict what will happen in the future—or more succinctly what will happen to our reality in the future. What is the current market price of an element if not in some ways a prediction of future outcomes?

With Zeiptfeil (Time’s arrow) (2014), three identical white vases are shown in three different conditions—one intact atop an acrylic pedestal, another intact but encased within an acrylic pedestal, and the third broken with the pieces dispersed. While the objects in the work is presented as if they are distinct, it is as if the spectator is being presented with the “before an after” versions of a singular object—in other words, the same object shown at two different moments in time. The question thus becomes is one of the objects a prediction of what might happen at another point in time, or a distinct object in itself? The work reverses the causality of events. It freezes time in a physical way, thus allowing for a reverse of time’s arrow—creating the ability to read time from both sides.

Ultimately, no matter how veridical a prediction is, it remains an idea—a mere possibility of what might occur. The transformation our physical reality undergoes throughout the passage of time will always remain separate. This distinction between the idea and reality is perhaps the most telling aspect of our relationship to time and its influence in our lives—as much as we might try and impose ourselves on the concept of time, time remains unchanged.

Alicja Kwade (b. 1979, Poland) lives and works in Berlin. She has had solo shows at Kunstmuseeum Krefeld Haus Esters (Krefeld), Kunstverein Bremerhaven (Bremerhaven), Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin), and KZM Karlsruhe (Karlsruhe) among others, as well as an upcoming solo show at Kunstverein St. Gallen (St. Gallen). Kwade has also shown at other institutions such as Kunst Museum Palais (Vienna), CCA Wattis Institute (San Francisco), Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and Witte de With (Rotterdam), Sculpture Centre (New York), Mot Art Museum (Tokyo).

carrie emberlyn