by A Kassen
River Man is both a conceptual, performative and sculptural work. The audience’s first meeting with
the artwork is characterized by the desire to understand and define these unidentified and abstract
shapes. This initial encounter and desire lies at the heart of A Kassen’s artistic practice. By drawing
upon an array of visual references, the artwork will reveal itself differently to different people, be it
as bones, animals, shells or the human figure.
How each object took its form was not subject to artistic taste, but to the laws of physics, chemistry and nature. The performative element of the work began as liquid bronze was poured directly into the waters of Randselva river. As the bronze hit the water it immediately set, creating unexpected and abstract shapes. Three pours were made, at three preferred locations along the river Rand- selva, and among hundreds, only three forms - one from each location - were chosen and cast in bronze on a monumental scale.
The unpredictability and individuality of the artwork’s shapes underline how the behavior of the water changes at each location and thus how the combinations of the universe are endless. River Man subtly reminds us how much our lives are impacted by water, as a source of life and prosperity, a geographical barrier and the reason for many a war, but also as source of artistic inspiration.