24 April 2013 Bałka / Bauman is a scarce commodity
‘Bałka and Bauman play on the same team, and during the discussion they mainly nod to each other. The great philosopher and the great artist are reflected in each other like in a mirror,' writes Karol Sienkiewicz in Dwutygodnik.com about the book Bauman/Bałka released in a limited edition by the National Centre for Culture. He goes on to add: ‘this small book is as hard as a nut. It is not for the first time that, being so intertwined with each other, philosopher Zygmunt Bauman and artist Mirosław Bałka engage in a leisurely conversation. It is difficult to determine what this book-dialogue talks about; it is easier to say why it was written. It fulfils the culture-forming ambitions of Mirosław Bałka, who a long time found ago that recognition in the field of art itself was not enough for him. I am personally keeping my fingers crossed.’
The starting point for the conversation of two great personages is the wall from Bałka's workroom on which he puts photographs, clippings, sketches, and designs. He uses old-fashioned drawing pins for this purpose. It is a kind of notebook and a reservoir of motifs. The artist turned up with a 1:1 scale photograph of this wall in Bauman’s house in Leeds. “It was worth arriving here to make this gesture and hang this photograph in this place,” he asserts. The book mainly gives an insight into the sculptor's creative process and disarms the arguments of malicious critics who accuse him of plagiarism and succumbing to the fashion for minimalism. Bałka proves that he is far from being superficial. He says: “I go to my workroom when I know what I want to do”,' we read in Dwutygodnik.
The first edition consists of only 300 numbered copies and was issued by the National Centre for Culture.
As you may remember, Zygmunt Bauman was a guest of last year’s edition of the Conrad Festival.