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One of Poland's leading contemporary sculptors, Bartłomiej Bałka, incorporates video and drawing into his practice. He creates works that, while often referencing his own body or surroundings, address universal themes of memory, trauma, and history using minimal means.
Raw yet contemplative, the artist's three-dimensional pieces often utilise everyday materials such as human hair, soap, ash, salt, linoleum, terrazzo, and steel. He can either arrange these materials into barely recognizable shapes or construct shapes that fully occupy the exhibition space. To enhance the impact of his works, he also uses less tangible elements such as time, movement, temperature, sound, and light, or their absence, to spark thoughts about presence and absence. or, conversely, accentuates their lack – to prompt reflections on presence and absence.
Bałka's commission for the MUZEUM SUSCH is housed in a natural grotto that served as cold storage for the original inhabitants of the monastery. In the center of the grotto is a rotating cylinder made of several sheets of polished stainless steel that reflects the surrounding rock formations. The sculpture's constant anticlockwise movement, powered by its inner mechanism, is a futile and obstinate gesture in the face of the passage of time that shaped the grotto. The presence of the viewer interrupts nature's self-absorbed meditation on perfection and replaces it with their reflection, introducing a new temporal perspective.