Paper Size: 76.7 cm x 56 cm
Image Size: 43.5cm x 29.2cm
Signed and numbered by artist
Edition of 100
Printed by Edition Copenhagen
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This lithograph by Polish artist Miroslaw Balka was created on the occasion of his 2007 exhibition at IMMA The print taken from video work comprises close-up footage of the isolated letter 'B' in the infamous phrase 'ARBEIT MACHT FREI'. This statement greeted prisoners passing through the gates of Auschwitz Concentration Camp, and historians have noted that the reversed capital B was an attempt by prisoners to signify to the outside world that all was not as it seemed within the camp, and that the slogan 'work shall set you free', was a cruel misgiving.
Born in Poland in 1958, Balka studied at the Warsaw Academy. His sculptural works frequently relate to the dimensions of his own body, and his materials often come from his studio and childhood home in Otwock near Warsaw. Balka’s minimal, conceptual installations create a sense of unease, his use of materials such as soap, ash and even insects directly relate to his considerations of the fragility of the human condition. Balka has exhibited widely internationally and represented Poland at the Venice Biennale in 1993. Solo exhibitions include Tate Britain, London, 1995; Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 2002; the Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York, 2004; the White Columns, London, 2004, and the Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin, 2005. In October 2009 Balka will undertake the tenth commission in The Unilever Series for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, London.