On March 3rd, 2020 I will be at ‘Publics’ in Helsinki for a talk about my book ‘Salt in the Wound. Encountering Contemporary Artists across Europe.” It starts at 6 pm and the entrance is free.
This evening I will discuss the work of Anish Kapoor, Miroslaw Balka, Paula Rego, Luc Tuymans, Sean Scully and Janis Avotins, all featured in the book. How is their respective work related to the place where they grew up and work, to its history and (cultural) landscape?
“Salt is often used by Miroslaw Balka and can have various meanings. It can symbolise purification and cleansing. Salt in the wound. Or the salt in tears. But it has a practical effect as well: salt glistens in a particular way when the light from the projector falls on it, exactly as the artist wants it to.”
“Traveling through Europe, the landscapes, languages, people and art change many times. This is the beauty of the continent: it makes you aware of riches and history. But most artists I meet, wherever they happen to live or work, are also from Poland, in a manner of speaking. They have the same Holocaust in their background. And after that, geography is no longer an issue. It’s about the negative creation story, a negative frame of reference for the visual arts and literature…. ” (From the title essay ‘Salt in the Wound’ Miroslaw Balka).
Image ‘BlueGasEyes’ by Miroslaw Balka, projection on salt.