Qwalala is the second temporary installation to be commissioned by LE STANZE DEL VETRO.
The work by American artist Pae White, exhibited in the gardens outside LE STANZE DEL VETRO, consists of a curved wall 65 metres long and 2.4 metres high, made from thousands of glass bricks crafted by hand in the Veneto Region.
The title of the installation, Qwalala, is a term coined by the Native American Pomo tribe and refers to the snaking course of the Gualala river in northern California, which the work is intended to recall, both in its structure and its layout.
About half of the bricks are in transparent glass, while the others are a whirl of twenty-six different colours: from a distance these bricks create an abstract, pictorial motif, while closer up they reveal a myriad of detail. The layout and the colour combination were chosen by the artist from the thousands of random possibilities generated by a computer using software produced especially for the project.
Apparently simple in form, the wall explores the limits of glass as a construction material and documents Pae White’s interest in combining common materials and technologies, traditional craft and advanced engineering, and in using the manufacturing industry to challenge the limits of each of these. The result may be interpreted as sculpture that evokes architecture and, vice versa, architecture that evokes sculpture.
The project is accompanied by a book published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Koenig.