Miroslaw Balka Heaven, 2010
68 x (200" x 8" x 8")
Installation view
photo: Scrap Metal Gallery

Known for austere and subtle sculptural work that plays on memory as much as it does perception, Polish sculptor Miroslaw Balka has literally brought Heaven to Scrap Metal gallery in Toronto.

The 68 Perspex rods suspended from the ceiling "[reflect] the observer but with distortion and in an unearthly light". The effect is calm but disorienting, as each rod twists and turns and rises and falls independently of the others, repeating the suspended "I" infinitely. In this way, Balka "delves into the loss of self and suspension of identity" -- themes that remain pertinent throughout a body of work that deals often with Balka's "Catholic upbringing and the collective experience of Poland's fractured history".

Originally shown in the courtyard of the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme during Paris' Nuit Blanche, the work took on a magical, wintry character that one viewer likened to "falling stars". Within the stark interior of Scrap Metal, however, Heaven becomes a work that is quietly meditative and reaches towards the sublime center of the mind's eye.
Heaven will be installed at Scrap Metal until March 30, 2013.