Mirosław Bałka, "Kein Warum"Berlin, April 15th - May 28th, 2005
Galerie Nordenhake is pleased to present an exhibition with new works by the Polish sculptor Mirosław Bałka. In "Kein Warum" ('no why') he deals with the moral burden of the Second World War. Typically for the artist, he focuses on the corporeal ordeals of war and sufferance; the dirt and the fleas, the obsessions with, and fatal deceptions surrounding hygiene and disinfection, and the shadow that Death cast over Europe.
Over the years Bałka has moved from a realist representation of the human body to a more minimalist conception of his art. His sculptures today are often metaphorical and narrative - in such a way that he can create an active relation between artist and beholder, as well as between the private and the public. Another basic formal principle in his works is the intricate relation between the human body (or the body of the artist) and its closest, almost enveloping, environment - manifested in appearances of objects such as a bed, a coffin or an urn. Bałka's works take its point of departure in the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the human body; the vectors that delineate the presence of the body in a room. To this the artist attaches a more delicate investigation into the absent traces a body leaves in a room; almost as a residuum. In this context frequently used substances such as salt, ashes and soap become important elements. Ashes as the residual element left by a fire consuming organic materials, salt as the essence of sweat - an epitome of human endeavours - and soap as a principle of purity and recycling; in Mirosław Bałka's art the materials are used as a vehicle of time.
31 x 29 x 8, 2 x (129 x 72 x 90), 2005, steel, ventilators, glass; dimension same as title in centimetres.
10 x 33 x 33, 2005, steel, carpet; dimensions same as title in centimetres.
Ein Floh / Ein Leben und Ø 100 x 15,2005, video, PVC,
revolving motor, 116 x 150 x 15 cm.
193 x 256 x 100, 2005, steel, disinfectant tablets; dimensions same as title in centimetres