Sonia Kacem – Digging Soft Walls (2019)
The work of the Swiss artist Sonia Kacem (b. 1985) consists primarily of sculptures and installations focused on creating a relationship between form, material and space that is strongly felt by the viewer. Kacem carefully examines the physical properties of materials and forms and experiments with combining these in a quest for interaction between the art and its observer.
In her works, she reveals a poetic side of everyday materials and objects, which normally goes unnoticed. Kacem takes her materials from the various phases of the cycle of consumption; sometimes an object is specially produced for her, ordered online or bought at a second-hand store, while sometimes she uses factory waste,
rubbish or disposable items. Many of her installations are made of used materials from the domestic world, such as fabrics, sponges, paper, plastic, old venetian blinds and sunshades. Kacem takes materials that generally end up in the rubbish dump or the garage and employs them for their pictorial and plastic potential.
Kacem changes flat materials such as fabrics into three-dimensional forms that penetrate the space. With their colours, folds and curves, they suggest volume and movement, explicitly connecting them to space and time. Kacem’s spatial forms and compositions, in spite of their abstraction, simultaneously allude to a certain physicality, to the presence of people. With titles like Thérèse, Petra and Loulou, all first names, the personification of the objects is emphasized and the experience of that physicality reinforced. The artist not only challenges the traditional notion of sculpture with this approach, but also the perception and experience of space.
For DELIRIOUS, Kacem made an installation consisting of a steel structure, which was sunk into the ground and over which a piece of pink vinyl had been draped, in such a way that the flat, static material suggested volume and movement while recalling the human skin in a very literal manner.