If you feel a sense of otherworldliness on the Met's Roof Garden this year, that's purposeful. That's because this year's commissioned work, by the Berlin-based artist Alicja Kwade, features a series of sculptures under the heavens—and meant to counter humans' relationship with the cosmos, and themselves within it.

In Kwade's work, titled "ParaPivot I and II," nine humongous spherical stones (which she sourced from nine different countries, including Brazil and Norway) loom over viewers, suspended by steel frames at akimbo angles. As an exhibition panel notes, the two sculptures work in tandem, at once recalling our own solar system and the instruments that have been used throughout history to try and make some sense of its fascinating, confounding order, such as the astrolabe. Getting it up there was a Herculean feat, too: As the NY Times reports, the massive pieces would have been astronomically expensive to lift up to the roof via crane, so they were taken through the building itself, up the elevator.

The themes here are a constant in Kwade's sculptural and installation work, which often deal with space and people's relationship to it. Given its place atop the Met Roof, it suggests that viewers consider their place within a universe that's expanding, whose dimensions and possibilities frequently defy linear ideas of how things are supposed to tick along in our world. As she told the Times, the idea is to consider the “irrational fact that you are on a sphere, turning at high speed in the void.”

"ParaPivot" will be on view at the The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from April 16th through October 27th, 2019.