Everyday observations, memories of events and encounters, and films are the basis for Luisa Kasalicky’s sculptural works. They remind us of human shapes, pieces of furniture, and other everyday objects whose surrealism makes them unfit for use but enriched with a language of their own.
Luisa Kasalicky gathers material fragments from everyday life and assembles them into wall pieces, objects, and installations. The everyday ready-made materials she employs, such as Styrofoam, linoleum, carpet, insulating panels, tiles, and decorative cloth, are “not interesting for the market because they are no longer modern – they aren’t in demand now because of their color or structure”. (Luisa Kasalicky)
These building materials from the 1970s and 1980s are often found in the discount section of hardware stores. They are relicts of the past which she combines with elements of the present in collages and assemblages, stripping them of both their function and temporality. This overlapping of different eras creates a temporal vacuum that questions the linear development of time, while the shift in function points to the inadequacy of setting the parameters of value.
Urban space and its elements as well as painting are analyzed in her work. The technique of collage and assemblage serves as a means of formally engaging with modernism while she also employs a painterly way of thinking that takes up issues inherent to painting. Her installations are born out of painting, and over the years, she has developed different color systems. Within the open structure of her work, she spatially organizes materials according to color and texture like brushstrokes. Individual areas are painted and added on to prefabricated surfaces of color. The results are new constellations of modular spatial sketches. The decisive element of her work is that, instead of staying on the level of questioning, Luisa Kasalicky creates alternative worlds. She captures human elements and transforms them into complex spatial and material systems out of which autonomous objects and narrative mise-en-scènes emerge whose stories unfold through their materiality.
The simultaneity of opposition is a unifying theme in her body of work. “There are elements that always accompany me. Maybe I can better explain this by telling a fairy tale that I liked as a child. A prince wants to get married, so he sends out his men. But he wants a special woman. This woman should be wearing clothes and not wearing clothes; she should arrive riding and not riding. Then they find a fisherman’s daughter. She’s riding a donkey with one leg straddling its back while walking with the other. She’s wearing only a fishing net, so she’s both clothed and not clothed. She unites opposites that appear irreconcilable. She represents an extremely wide range of possibilities. In a way, that’s what I’m trying to achieve. My work should always have a certainty and urgency, but it should also inspire a well-oiled chain of associations that take on a different form for each person.” (Interview with Luisa Kasalicky by Rita Vitorelli in Spike Art Quarterly 21, 2009)