Submission
Lucia Kempkes

A Stream of Thoughts to Detach Us From the Current

Like our memories, this sculpture will disintegrate one day. Constructed out of stone paper, it is water-resistant but decomposes into dust when exposed to sunlight. So are we to keep it in the dark forever?


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Lucia Kempkes, A Stream of Thoughts to Detach Us From the Current, 2021, stone paper, 400 x 90 x 50cm.
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Lucia Kempkes, A Stream of Thoughts to Detach Us From the Current, 2021, stone paper, 400 x 90 x 50cm.
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Lucia Kempkes, A Stream of Thoughts to Detach Us From the Current, 2021, stone paper, 400 x 90 x 50cm.
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Lucia Kempkes, A Stream of Thoughts to Detach Us From the Current, 2021, stone paper, 400 x 90 x 50cm.
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Lucia Kempkes, A Stream of Thoughts to Detach Us From the Current, 2021, stone paper, 400 x 90 x 50cm.
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Lucia Kempkes, A Stream of Thoughts to Detach Us From the Current, 2021, stone paper, 400 x 90 x 50cm.
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Lucia Kempkes, A Stream of Thoughts to Detach Us From the Current, 2021, stone paper, 400 x 90 x 50cm.
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Lucia Kempkes, A Stream of Thoughts to Detach Us From the Current, 2021, stone paper, 400 x 90 x 50cm.
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Lucia Kempkes, A Stream of Thoughts to Detach Us From the Current, 2021, stone paper, 400 x 90 x 50cm.
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Lucia Kempkes, A Stream of Thoughts to Detach Us From the Current, 2021, stone paper, 400 x 90 x 50cm.
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Lucia Kempkes, A Stream of Thoughts to Detach Us From the Current, 2021, stone paper, 400 x 90 x 50cm.

Like our memories, this sculpture will disintegrate one day. Constructed out of stone paper, it is water-resistant but decomposes into dust when exposed to sunlight. So are we to keep it in the dark forever?

Lucia Kempkes’s sculpture of a kayak symbolises a longing for adventure while describing at the same time a need for safety and refuge. It embodies our emotional connection to vacations, thoughts of carefree holidays, looking forward to downtime, or eternally unfulfilled desires. The way it is constructed out of stone paper alludes to the ambivalent and fragile nature of these feelings. The kayak replica resembles the original object in design, size, and construction. But the material’s smooth texture and white color also give it the appearance of a model or prototype that can still be infused with experiences and, despite this, has long since succumbed to the process of decay.

Lucia Kempke’s work touches on numerous questions of concern to us in the pandemic and with regard to climate change and social inequality. Who has the privilege of feeling wanderlust? What is the difference between calculated and existential risk? Is travel a limited resource and how is it distributed? The sculpture itself functions as an open-ended surface for associations while remaining contradictory in itself: stone paper is made partly out of polyethylene resin. When exposed to UV light, the plastic component gradually decomposes into microplastics and is—contrary to what the name suggests—not biodegradable.

The project is being realized under the auspices of MMXX, an initiative for contemporary art in public space. MMXX presents exhibitions at changing locations in Berlin that are open to everyone. MMXX creates temporary environments independent of genre-boundaries for young positions dealing with contemporary art’s aesthetic and socio-political implications. Founded in 2020 in response to the spreading pandemic, MMXX examines the city as a shared space for exchange and reflection.