Tuesday, September 12, 2023 | Edition VFO

Podcast with Sonia Kacem

In the context of the exhibition "From Object to Ornament" appears a new podcast with Sonia Kacem. The Geneva-based artist has conceived a series of 8 lithographs for the exhibition. In conversation with David Khalat, the artist talks about this first experience with the medium of lithography, about the fine line between abstraction and ornament, and about her creative processes in relation to the environment, exhibition space and architecture.

We are very pleased that the lithographs published with us will be shown at the Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts from September 15. The 35th edition of the international biennial of contemporary graphic arts is entitled "From the void came gifts of the cosmos" and runs until January 2024.

Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud, Spotify or Apple Podcast.

In her lithographic series, Sonia Kacem explores the relationship between color, form and representation. An important source of inspiration are the color sketchbooks that the artist has been keeping since an artist residency in Egypt in 2019. The sketches were not made with a specific new work in mind, but served the artist to observe her surroundings. Of particular interest to Kacem is the investigation of different formal languages, such as abstraction in Western contemporary art and the non-representational in ornamentation.


Sonia Kacem at Thomi Wolfensberger's lithography workshop in Zurich


As part of her edition, Sonia Kacem worked with lithography for the first time, in a process whose "experimental lightness" she praises in the podcast. She was particularly surprised by the subtlety and precision of the color. The quasi-infinite possibilities of coloring have awakened new demands in the artist: while in the studio she works with the colors at her disposal, in this project she has had to think much more carefully about what she wants to achieve and has included the effects of transparency and metallic sheen.

In addition to Kacem's lithographs, the exhibition also features two bronze sculptures. A fundamental engagement with sculpture has always characterized Kacem's practice. After primarily creating ephemeral sculptures out of paper, textile, and dust, it was very exciting to work with the classic lost wax process. The artist exploited the peculiarities of the manufacturing process to draw ornaments on the surface of her bronze castings, a process she compares to monotyping in printmaking.


Sonia Kacem, Piega A (Bronzo) and Piega E (Bronzo), bronze. View of the exhibition "From Object to Ornament" at Edition VFO. Courtesy Galerie Gregor Staiger, Zurich.

Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud, Spotify or Apple Podcast.