“Catastrophe and the Power of Art” Work #7: Miroslaw Balka Soap Corridor
Born 1958 in Otwock, Poland, and currently based in Warsaw.
Thinly extended soap is applied to the walls of a narrow L-shaped corridor. For this artist from Poland, where many Jews lost their lives in the Holocaust during World War II, soap is a highly symbolic material. Like in the way it is used to wash a newborn body or a corpse, it is a manufactured item related to decisive moments of both life and death, while historically the Jews were handed soap when they were sent to the gas chambers. The wall itself is as tall as the height at which Balka stretched out his hands and with the height of the soap applied to the wall matching his own height, which suggests the physical scale of the artist.