Reflection and Shadow

Paula Rivas and Christian Wloch
December 18, 2017
Rivas Wloch's "Quasar" white, reflective arcylic nylon and kinetic device
Quasar by Paula Rivas and Christian Wloch

“Quasar” –2017, a 43 ¼” x 35 3/8” x 13” hanging sculpture consisting of black onyx balls, clear nylon thread, reflective and white acrylic, motor, optic motion detection eye and wood box is a recent acquisition for Rosenbaum Contemporary.  A collaborative effort between Paula Rivas and Christian Wloch, two Buenos Aires artists, “Quasar” epitomizes, on a smaller scale, the meditative aspects of rhythmic movement per shadow and its evanescent placement on the wall behind the formal object; continually reinventing its own aesthetic. Subject to surrounding light sources—natural or synthetic—the depth, value, tone, and placement of shadows and reflections of Rivas and Wloch’s sculpture are contingent on angular positioning of directed light waves; making an argument that environmental conditions weigh in on the object’s visual aesthetic.


Conceptually,  “Quasar” delves into the notion that the concept of reflecting light exposes the contexts of the invisible world around us. The light waves—cosmic or artificial—bounce, absorb, reflect and refract on every object organic or man-made­– including the gallery wall.  The electrons of atoms on the material's surface (the mirror-like reflective acrylic) vibrate for short periods of time and then re-emit the energy (light) as a reflected light wave, thus completing the cosmic cycle of how the kinetic properties of “Quasar” exist; almost transcending into a metaphysical world of contingent possibilities.


“Quasar” skirts aspects of Futurism where artists were deliberately trying to portray aspects of movement on a 2D surface (i.e. energy and movement through mechanical means reflective of a cubistic aesthetics.)  Through proper kinetic energy processes, the artists are no longer portraying movement but allowing movement to transpose its identity through reflection and capitalizing on the institutional and internal white walls of the gallery.


Repetitive and angular shadows intermingle with mirrored reflections on the white surface. These various contrasting black and white shadowy apparitions project slivers of object identity, substances that are subordinate to the evidence of its existence­– its projected silhouette or reflective twin.