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Olga Balema

What Enters


14/06/2013 –
– 13/07

They are heavy, placid substances, sitting on the ground, attempting not to evoke. Lying by the side of the pool, feeling the weight of the sun, tingling and lusting after ones with quick moves.

Their goal is their physicality, a pure expression of themselves, making their own forms, taking their own space. Relying on insular decadence of reticence, leaving people to the speaking, expressing themselves rather through action and influence.

Of this world and in this world. Rotting mind of a delusional heir articulated through vivid descriptions of chamber rooms and textiles. Just imagine them in a palatial hall.

Large transparent plates occupy the floor. They contain concrete, water, and steel. The plates are hoarding space, hardly leaving room to wander. At times they are pushing the visitor to the wall or provoking him to lose balance. They are low, malevolent looking objects, changing appearance during the course of the exhibition. The process of mutual agitation between the water, concrete, and steel will affect their colour and internal texture. Together they perform a bodily presence, slowly creeping up on the visitor. A physical urge is coming from them, as though they are trying to ingest their surroundings.

Through this assimilation the sculptures find literary kinship in Nabokov’s short story ‘Venezia’, which entertains the idea of being seduced into entering paintings and merging with their material qualities, as well as with Callois insects, who summoned the environment into their own bodies, often to the detriment of being cannibalized by their peers. This bodily drive reminds us that for the world to change, the revolution has to be an erotic one, coming from feeling, from the physical relationship.

In this exhibition of Olga Balema there is no longer a distinction between object and subject. What remains is a surroundings in which an on-going exchange and transformation takes place.


About Olga Balema: Balema (b. 1984, Ukraine) is an artist and sculptor. She is originally from Ukraine. The New Museum has featured her work. She is participating in the 2019 Whitney Biennial. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of California, Los Angeles.


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