The Christmas reconstruction

Part of the project Fragmentarium Universale

Available for show!

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My interest in shapes that are fragmentary, incomplete, broken or with parts missing was a starting point for the entire Fragmentarium Universale project. Usually we come into contact with ancient art and, more generally, ancient life through fragments of sculptures, paintings, buildings, vases, mosaics or texts. Museums are full of broken objects and object fragments, and it is left up to us how to reconstruct the original shapes.

The incomplete shape triggers certain processes in our brain, which force us to imagine the missing parts and create the illusion of a complete shape, which is no longer available. The viewer's active role in the reconstruction process often leads to the perception that the incomplete shape is more fascinating and exciting than a perfect one. The empty space between the fragments seems to be charged with energy.

I wanted to carve only fragments of sculptures and to place them in the exhibition space in such a way that they create an illusion of complete figures. The first installation in a series of exhibitions, performances and events based on this idea is the Christmas reconstruction for the Tikanoja art museum in Vaasa. The Christmas story is so well-known to adults and children alike, that they can easily reconstruct not only separate shapes, but even the entire scene.

The installation was built in the beginning of December in the so-called “chapel” located in the yard of the Tikanoja museum. Formerly, the building was used as a horse stable. The proportions of the inner space are wonderful, but there is no heating. Pieces of sculptures are made from white expanded polystyrene and resemble snow and ice. A smaller installation was placed in the Vaasa railway station in order to make people aware of the museum exhibition and to invite them to visit.

© Alexander Reichstein
Music: Arvo Pärt, ”Alina!”
Tikanoja art museum, Vaasa