D E
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CULTURAL STATEMENT

¬ Engaging History to create dialogues
Grażyna Kulczyk sets great store by her role as an ambassador for contemporary Polish and Middle Eastern European art, which has long been omitted from the canon and tended to be overlooked by the majority of Western critics and collectors, due to the particular political environment of the former Eastern bloc states. Beyond this general ambition, her collecting strategy also reflects two key interests: International artists have joined the collection, opening up new perspectives and highlighting contrasts between works but also hinting to parallels and raising questions about the multifarious and complex relations between East and West in general. These expanded perspectives and contrasts within the collection provide the basis for commentary on complex and timely global concerns. The women’s perspective in the collection adds a clear feminist mission to the endeavours of Grażyna Kulczyk, whose own history as an independent, creative entrepreneur is at the root of a deep understanding and emotional connection to issues women face in their artistic practice. Her collection reflects this interest, inviting and encouraging participation, contributing to the recognition and greater visibility of women — as artists and elsewhere.

Muzeum Susch - Grażyna Kulczyk


ART STATIONS FOUNDATION
by Grażyna Kulczyk

¬ Opening Perspectives
Established in 2004, as the Kulczyk Foundation, the ART STATIONS FOUNDATION by Grażyna Kulczyk is to support innovative developments of culture and art and to provide artists with opportunities to engage with local communities. The mission of popularising culture and art, in addition to facilitating and increasing their availability to a broader public, was consistently accomplished through the foundation’s various exhibition projects and grants focusing on innovative juxtapositions of Polish and international contemporary art. Taking up new artistic trends, as well as engaging in aesthetic and theoretic exploration, the activities of the foundation are providing fresh perspectives for viewing the collection and beyond. Since 2017 the Foundation operates both from Poland and from Switzerland.

ASF website

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PERMANENT INSTALLATIONS

Mirosław Bałka

∂ ≈ Δ

NARCISSUSSUSCH (2018)

One of Poland’s preeminent contemporary sculptors, whose practice also encompasses video and drawing, Bałka employs minimal means to create works that, while often referencing his own body or his immediate environment, explore universal questions of memory, trauma and history.

“In Balka’s work, the view into an object’s past is indirect, obscured or blocked. Narrative is not achieved by pointing to a world beyond the art work; it is improvised out of formal conjunctions among objects.”

“Miroslaw Balka BY MARK PRINCE”
Frieze, 2011

Raw yet contemplative, the artist’s three-dimensional works tend to draw on an inventory of quotidian materials – including human hair, soap, ash, salt, linoleum, terrazzo and steel – which, at times, he configures into forms so understated that they appear mere shadows of real objects while, at others, devising shapes which fully inhabit and structure the exhibition space. To this end, Bałka also exploits less tangible elements, such as time (disclosed via accumulated rust or patina), movement, temperature, sound and light – or, conversely, accentuates their lack – to prompt reflections on presence and absence.

“I’m always looking for a new experience, so I don’t want to return to the same materials that I’ve worked with in the past, and I’m trying to find new places for the bodies of the visitors to relate to beyond just looking.”

“Sculptor Mirosław Bałka on the Romance of Conceptual Art”
Artspace, 2015

 

Muzeum Susch - Miroslaw Balka
© Studio Stefano Graziani & Muzeum Susch / Art Stations Foundation CH


Podcast: Behind the Scenes

Miroslaw Balka with Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern

Bałka’s commission for MUZEUM SUSCH occupies one of its most extraordinary locations: a natural grotto, parts of which served as cold storage for the original inhabitants of the monastery. Revolving slowly at its centre is a cylinder, comprising several sheets of polished stainless steel, which reflects the surrounding rock formations. The incessant labour of the sculpture’s inner mechanism, propelling it anticlockwise, is a futile, obstinate gesture in the face of the onward march of time that shaped the grotto. The presence of the viewer interrupts nature’s narcissistic meditation on its own perfection, replacing it with their image and inter- posing a new temporal perspective.

 


Muzeum Susch app

For more detailed information about the artists and works included in the show, please download our application Muzeum Susch, available from 29 December 2018.


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