Eva Hild’s sculpture Binary is a stranger in the neighbourhood, but a stranger with meaning and a playful attitude. It comes as a surprise, whirling up between the pavement and the entrance of the refurbished Government Offices on Jakobsgatan in Stockholm. Hild wanted to create an addition that stands out against the anonymous architecture in one of the city’s forgotten back streets, “something organic, in motion and growing”. The design commission included a request that Hild create a street space that would be experienced as dynamic and inviting. “The sculpture should catch the eye, and also be a physically tangible object that makes you want to get to know it better and to hang around,” she says. This is a fine quality, in the tradition of Egon Möller-Nielsen’s groundbreaking sculptures from the 1940s and ’50s, which melded interactive functions with public art. Binary stands directly on the ground. It greets us, marking the place and direction. There is also physicality in the soft curves of the sculpture. It feels faithful. We want to touch it, stroke it on the nose. At close range, structures and nuances are visible in the metal surface. Even aluminium has its skin and its birthmarks.
Binary means “in two parts” or “twofold” or, a relationship between opposite poles. The work itself is in two parts: the free-standing sculpture on the pavement, and a black-and-white, inverted photograph in the entrance hall, where a similar shape appears, but captured in a grid, penetrated by light, like an X-ray image. This balance of opposites is present in all Eva Hild’s oeuvre. “My works are often about the dualism of existence; body and soul, matter and empty space, confrontation and interaction, openness and reticence.”
Eva Hild is internationally recognised for her ceramic sculptures, where the outside become inside in winding, complex spaces. The slowness of the craft itself has been fundamental to the process. Binary was created in an extended activity where the idea was realised on a large scale together with foundry and workshops. The sculpture is durable, weatherproof and long-lasting. An essential starting point was the client’s security requirements: the work must not create recesses or obscure the view. Aluminium was the obvious choice, since this is a light metal that doesn’t rust and complements the GO’s new extensions. It is also imbued with its own symbolism, suggesting speed, flight and strength, and is often used in aeroplanes. In this sense, Binary comments on what goes on inside the building, a sign of creative thoughts, encounters and processes in the Government Offices’ efforts to improve society.