This art installation on the rooftop of MET, New York might look straight out of a science project, but there is more to it than meets the eye.

The concept

Berlin-based artist, Alicja Kwade shines through her first solo exhibition at a museum in the United States by creating a miniature solar system for the Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The installation includes two towering sculptures ParaPivot I and II made out of steel frames, intersecting at oblique angles. The steel appendages, which fan outward around multiple axis points, seem to trace the orbital pathways of the globes. Installed within are nine spheres made out of carved and polished stones.  These spheres representing the planets, appear to be floating in the grid, and are of different sizes, colours and patterns. The sculpture mimics an “Astrolabe”- a scientific instrument invented in ancient Greece and adopted by Islamic astronomers in the medieval period to chart the trajectory of the stars and planets.

However, the piece is site-specific for a reason. Each rectangular scaffold creates a curated view of the Manhattan skyline, and both frames the city as well as suggests a “support” that holds it up. The effect is meant to tie the Earthly setting to the astronomical theme.

About the artist

Alicja is a Berlin-based artist who draws inspiration from science, time and perception to create installations and sculptures. With equal parts poetry and critical insight, she calls into question the systems designed to make sense of an otherwise unfathomable universe. Alicja attempts to enhance the need for self-reflection with her thought provoking concept. It make us question our unstable and insignificant presence amidst the celestial objects. This is Alicja's first solo exhibition at a museum in the United States.

The masterpiece ParaPivot will be on display through 27th October’19 at the MET, New York.

Shivpriya Bajpai

Shivpriya Bajpai is the Assistant Editor at L’Officiel India. She loves to hoard sneakers and can intrigue you with her perpetually curious mind.