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150 x 206 x 5

In TRACE Miroslaw Balka has installed a soap platform 770 cm square and a few inches high. Over the window of the exhibition space in the Tate Gallery he has placed a metal grid with lumps of soap wedged into it. Burnt drawings hang on the walls surrounding the platform. This work is both visual and olfactory. From a distance the soap platform looks like a slab of marble, but on closer inspection its softness and soapy aroma reveal its true origins. The bodily associations of soap link this piece to Balka’s preoccupation with the body and memory. The burnt drawings also have figurative and autobiographical connotations. Their charred edges draw our attention to the paper itself, while hinting at some past tragedy. The fragments of soap in the window could be the remains of some dramatic or explosive event. In fact the drawings were accidentally burnt in a fire that nearly gutted the artist’s studio. In this way they make a direct link back to the actual history of his house of memories.

Date

24 September – 07 November 1999