Düsseldorf - Germany


Berlin From December 26, 2022 to January 30, 2023

SETAREH X is pleased to present the first solo exhibition »Metatexis« by Emil Walde.

The work of Emil Walde is intrinsically related to space, as his works combine sculptural and spatial features, fluctuating between both and yet refusing to find a statical position within any of them. This reluctancy towards an exact definition is what brings the viewer closer to an understanding of the conceptual meaning of Walde's work. The artistic Materia is space itself, being shaped via intervention, transformation, addition, replacement, restoration and recontextualization. Variation is a fundamental part of it. By means of reusing objects, he removes the "meaning"/"idea" that defines its qualities, to then present it in a new context. Here all previous conceptions of it disappear and are translated into a new narrative. That is one of the defining characters of Emil Walde's work – the narrative is yet to be determined by the person who is faced with it. His work enhances a reflection on the standard methods of identifying and categorizing what is seen.

Perception, according to its dictionary definition is "the act or faculty of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind" and on second slate, "cognition; understanding". Walde presents the viewer with a challenge of perception, a challenge of understanding. This defiance happens due to a deceleration in the cognitive process that occurs due to the diversity of possibilities that arise when observing the artworks. Perception is, after all, subjective, and it is also defined as "immediate or intuitive recognition or ap- preciation, as of moral, psychological or aesthetic qualities". It varies depending on one's background.

Emil Walde offers the possibility of embracing these contrasts by looking at space in three analyzing levels. Henri Lafebvre defines these three levels as the space itself, the space as represented and the space as experienced. The viewer will see the object for what it is; then they will see it in the context in which it is presented, often in one that differs widely from where it would normally be; and finally, the viewer will experience the artwork in relation to their cultural background and subjected to their personal interaction with it. All spaces –and objects that revolt around space– are nurtured by the hidden presence of what the own personal background brings to the observational experience, as Foucault puts it.

For this exhibition, Emil Walde presents a selection of artworks that play with the idea of metatexis. He borrows the term „metatexis" from geology as something which defines the process of segregation (by metamorphic differentiation) and partial fusion. Walde's focus remains on what the word metatexis represents: the possibility of fast and extreme change and how materiality, as well as it meaning, is mutable.

The state of matter can change, as Bone distinctly shows. It exposes everything what metatexis implies: a change in the material and an infinite arrange of possibilities about what the reason for it could be. The melted aluminum doesn't look like metallic anymore, it shifts its perception due to its property changes, metamorphosing into a stonelike surface that evokes skeletal features. This variation opens up the possibilities, what happened to the wheel? Was it modified manually? Is it a remainder of a car crash?

Effect is an aluminum sign, its form, bended and broken, could remind the eye of the movement of a butterfly's wing. Sanded and removed of its original color and texture, it presents an illusion of the passing of time, an eroded version of itself that reminds the viewer of the fatal intersection of time and space. The word-play between the title and the words in the object itself gives it a comical angle. The butterfly effect is the term used to exemplify the idea that even something small can have lager effects, becoming then plausible that the motion of creating the sign could also perhaps be what destroyed it.

When looking at Kapsel 31 a constant paradigm shift takes place. The oscillation between what it was, what it is and what it could be provokes a hypnotizing effect that reciprocates the thoughts aroused around it. The fiberglass container, with its original stainless steel sealing parts has been reconstructed and transformed. It is exhibited hanging from chains, making the capsule lay on an axis that differs from the one it was intended to stand on and has been upholstered with synthetic leather. Kapsel 31 is a constant antithesis: rough exterior, luxurious interior; industrial purposes, domestic intimacy; etc. The result is a container envisioned for a far different purpose to the one displayed. It can hold a person inside, encapsulating them from the outside, isolating them, as the homonym psychological term implies.

The Wall juxtaposes the ideas of appearances and social interaction with the basic structural features of architectural embellishment. A perfect, solid, white outside facade, broken and empty on the inside. The structure completely changes the dynamics of the room, of the space, of the way people interact within it. The Wall becomes part of the room and opens questions and reflections around the idea of what is established and how.

The work Periderm is made from an object trouvé consisting of pressed paper, its shape reminiscent of a tree bark. A closer look reveals the imprint of a tyre tread on the front. The significance of the work can be read as an allusion to man's influence on nature. Like a façade, the paper structure is mounted on an aluminium construction and suspended in space with soldering clamps. It comes across potentially as an artefact of a dystopian past.

Throughout experiencing Metatexis, perception is challenged, the senses and the cognition are deceived at the same time. The artist transforms the basic architectural grounds, alters the recognition of known elements and creates a new space, not only physical but also cognitive, in which the act of understanding comes into question.
Read more


  • Schöneberger Ufer 71
    10785, Berlin
    +49 (0)3023005133

Kapsel 31, Emil Walde

Kapsel 31

Emil Walde

Sculpture - 29.1 x 55.1 x 59.1 inch


Emil Walde

Emil Walde