“The contradictory concepts that quite regularly appear in the titles of Balka’s exhibitions serve to underscore the notional and logical ambivalence of the meanings they carry.” – Anda Rottenberg
Language and its ambiguous semantics play a crucial role in Miroslaw Balka’s oeuvre, which over the last thirty years engaged in a reflection on the recent traumas of European history and of his home country, Poland. The endeavor results in an inquiry into human nature, conceived as individual and collective conscience at once.
The book, published on the occasion of the solo show CROSSOVER/S held at Pirelli HangarBicocca, reflects the relevance of language in Balka’s work through a critical essay by Anda Rottenberg as well as a detailed chronology of the artist’s solo shows since 1985. To cite the artist: “If you look at my solo exhibitions, if you read title after title, you can follow the ‘line’ of my art.” The publication, edited by Vicente Todolí, also includes a reprint of chapter 7 of the book The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony (1988) by Roberto Calasso, considered by the artist as a prelude to the motifs and figures to be found in the artist’s work, as well as a critical essay by Simone Menegoi, focusing on the dialectics between the individual and the collectivity.