Body of evrdenc

Personal experience provides a deep well for Polish artist MIROSLAW BALKA to draw from.

Words: Jack Mottram

iroslaw Balka was born in Poland in “)58. and continues to work from a studio in the home he grew up in. This biographical detail is perti— nent because much of Balka‘s work draws on his memories. sur- roundings and history both in terms of physical source material for sculptures and installations. and thematically.

'l‘it'IUI/It'lnt' collects together pieces from the past ten years. pro- yiding an oyeryiew oi' Balka's art. Most of the work hasn‘t been seen in Britain before. ‘\\'e're going right tip to pieces completed last year and installation pieces that will be configured especially for the space. using strategies that Balka has employed before. but remade] says curator Katrina Brown. ‘lt’s by no means a retro- spectiye. but we'ye tried to giye an indication of' the ways in which he’s worked with different materi- als: there's sortie strongly sculptur— al pieces. there's some yideo pieces. sortie simple drawings and some installation-type pieces. We want it to he a \‘L‘l'_\ \aricd experi- ence in the gallery. l'rom small. \ery intimate and priyate pieces. to others that are larger. more all- encompassing.’

As well as serying up a sum- rnary ot’ Balka's wide-ranging

approach to working methods and media. the show will closely consider a theme that runs through the artist‘s work. ‘A lot of Balka's work is involved with his own history and his immediate enyiromnent.’ says Brown. ‘We had this idea that the connection between the works should be that they all had some immediate

relationship to a body and a life. so pieces on show will have an aged element to them. or will relate to key moments in someone's life. There's a suggested. it not necessarily factu— al. autobiography in there some- where..

l‘urthering the emphasis on Balka’s tendency to locus on the sell. the art will be accompanied by tll'lc‘lttc‘ls. "lo emphasise the connec-

tion with “real life" w e're going to be showing objects that aren‘t sculptures.’ Brown says. "l'hey ill be Balka‘s own personal memorabilia. and presented quite differently from the work on show. 'l‘here'll be all sorts of things. l'rom small keepsakes to a series of

108 THE LIST .; -

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images Balka has taken of his teddy bear. In some ways. showing memorabilia is also meant to draw attention to the extent to which we have this material world around us. and that we don’t tend to pay close attention to it.’

The show is an unusual admixture of examples of Balka’s work chosen because they are particularly suffused with his surroundings and draw heavily on his past experiences and those very surroundings themselyes. llis art is eyidence ol' the experiences that underpin the sculptures. drawings and installations on show.

Thanks in part to this juxtaposi- tion of Balka’s work and ephemera. 'Ii't'rltuI/It'lm' looks set to provide much in the way of insight into the artist‘s past and ongoing practice. (Jack .\lottram)

A lot of Balka’s work is involved with his own history and his immediate environment

Miroslaw Balka is at Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, Sun 25 Aug-Sun 20 Oct.

GreyscaIe/CMYK Tramway hosts a major group show of work by artists from Scotland and the Nordic regions. Arranged according to colour. the show encompasses draw- ing. painting. photography. film and video. with works by Ross Birrell. Martin Boyce. Ross Sinclair, Roddy Buchanan. Icelandic Love Corporation and many more. See feature. Tramway, G/asgow, Fr/ 30 Aug—Sun 20 Oct.

Miroslaw Balka: tiedto- thetoe The first major solo UK show for Polish artist Miroslaw Balka in an exploration of mem~ ory and loss through sculptures. installations. drawings and video works. See preview. Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee. Sun 25 Aug—Sun 20 Oct. Beck’s Futures The third Beck's Futures award stops off at the CCA featuring large-scale wall paintings and works on Perspex by winning artist Toby Paterson plus time-based words by David Cotterrell, paintings by Dan Perfect and quirky films works by Hideyuki Sawayanagi. CCA, Glasgow. until Sun 22 Sep.

Dragon Doll: Christine Borland and Claire Barclay Prints. drawings and sculpture exploring issues relating to natu— ral history. botany and medicines by l‘tirner Pri/e nominee Christine Borland and Claire Barclay. G/asgow Print Stud/o. (i/(ISQOL'V, untr/ Sat H Set).