Drexel University Unveils Profound “Pars pro Toto” Stone Art Installation on Lancaster Walk | The Triangle

Drexel University Unveils Profound “Pars pro Toto” Stone Art Installation on Lancaster Walk

Eight striking rocks have been flaunted on Drexel University’s Lancaster Walk on Thursday, Aug. 25 as part of a collaboration with the Forman Arts Initiative.

“Pars pro Toto” by international artist Alicja Kwade is a large-scale art installation of an assorted array of rare stones. “Pars pro Toto” which translates in Latin for “for a part of the whole,” was installed by Drexel Facilities early Thursday morning in the university’s intention for viewers to take a moment to realize we are intermingled with the past, present and future. “Pars Pro Toto” reflects existential concepts of time, perception and scientific inquiry. 

Photo Courtesy of Drexel University

For Kwade, the installation on Drexel’s campus “Allows us to become giants roaming a human-scale solar system, but it also reminds us to be dwarfed by the ever-expanding universe,” said Kwade. “We become aware that our Earth is but a minute sphere, a marble suspended in our geocentric horizon. Right here, right now on campus we reflect these opposing realities through the experience of Pars pro Toto.” 

The stones featured are sourced from eight different countries and range from a dwarfish 16 inches to an cosmic 98 inches in diameter. Alicja Kwade uses this material with sentiments of utmost respect for the stones as a part of interconnected life. She breaks down the utilization of stone itself– toying with the timescale of the billions of years the stones have been exposed to in each fragment of the earth. The use of the diverse and distinct stones of Earth symbolizes our planet’s variety.

Kwade’s work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Venice Biennale, the Louisiana Museum in Denmark and the Berlinische Galerie and the large-scale outdoor sculpture has been installed at Stanford University and the University of Copenhagen.

According to Stanford University, “Pars pro Totowas sourced by fifth-generation stonemason Frank Rüdiger from the Albrecht family in Berlin, Germany. The family has a lineage of stonemasons dating back to 1880 and are part of the Stonemasons & Sculptors Guild in Berlin and of the Federal Association of German Stonemasons. The spheres were produced in Germany and Poland on par with the countries’ fair labor agreements.