Since its first iteration in 2010, Raquel Kogan’s Water installation, co-created with Leonardo Crescenti and Rejane Cantoni, has journeyed to Moscow, São Paulo and Eindhoven. What distinguishes this traveling exhibition from others that you may be imagining, is that Water is completely transformed by the context in which it is shown. Perhaps a more accurate phrasing would be that the piece metamorphises the spaces in which it is installed.

It looks like a large, liquid mirror, and the atmosphere it creates is transformational. Its relationship with its environment is at the essence of the piece – and the viewer is a critical element of this environment. The mirror bends, distorts, and refracts light differently based on the movement of the audience, their weight, speed and motion. In its exploration, as you make your way across the surface, the sensation is that of your feet sinking into a puddle, you encounter the deformed reflections of yourself and others around you. It’s like being in some kind of hyper-reality.

Water at Lexus Hibrid Art Moscow, 2014 Photo: Leonardo Crescenti
‘’... a dreamlike environment, yes, I like to refer to it as phantasmagorical,’ explains Kogan excitedly. With a background in architecture and a fascination with people and created spaces, it’s no wonder that her body of work is so experiential and immersive. ‘People don’t see how they could see the space,’ she continues. Kogan’s oeuvre plays a lot with interactivity and human presence, overlaying projections of film with mapping of the visitors’ movements. ‘The piece is modified by your presence, you add another layer as the audience.’

Incredibly, in the age of renderings and digital drawing, Kogan’s only approach to creating interactive and multifaceted work such as this is ‘Go. Go and make it.’ Of course, diligent research is completed, material experts are consulted, budgets are reviewed, but it’s only once the installation is complete that the piece is really seen and experienced. She says she likes surprises. Naturally there have been some bad ones, but through continuous iterations, the pieces are optimised. ‘When it comes to my work, I’m constantly saying the same thing. I’m just saying it in different ways.’ We will gladly keep listening.

Mark your calendars for the 9th edition of KIKK, which will be held from the 31st of October until the 3rd of November 2019 in Namur, Belgium,