Alicja Kwade

20 Mar 20 — 29 Nov 23

Cornelius bridge / corner Erhardtstraße

In summertime Munich you can see three cyclists on a bike path, three passers-by are walking on the sidewalk to the right. On the far right in the foreground is a 160cm tall bronze statue of Bavaria. Without the martial attributes of lion and sword, she is shown at eye level with passers-by.

Alicja Kwade's "Bavaria" on the Isar meets passers-by at eye level. © Foto: Christoph Knoch

Alicja Kwade’s sculpture “Bavaria” appears on the Isar in a humanized version that corresponds to human scale.

Alicja Kwade’s intervention „Bavaria“ is not an exact copy of the popular statue, built by Ludwig Schwanthaler, but a slightly modified and humanized version. Deprived of all symbols of victory and power, like the lion, laurels and her sword – her body language and size do not tell the same story anymore. Her gestures are altered specifically and thus their symbolic meaning changes.

Her formerly superhuman size, aimed at intimidating the viewer by symbolizing superiority, is altered, too: As she is scaled down to human size (exactly the artists height), without a socket, the Bavaria is demystified and equivalent to the visitors. They interact on eye-level. Like this, the sculpture evokes interactions with the passer-by and so the statue leads a new “life”. The formerly untouchable god-like statue becomes tangible.

The link between the original and its humanized equivalent reveals two different possibilities of being, which are completely opposed in meaning but still belong to each other. They coexist and illustrate the idea of parallel universes.

Alicja Kwade, born in 1979 in Katowice, Poland, lives and works in Berlin.


Cornelius bridge / corner Erhardtstraße

80469 Munich