17.11.23 – 14.01.24

Thirty minutes in a liquid above my body temperature. Water filled up to the rim, I intentionally forget to subtract my volume so that I can watch the water stretch around my bare skin and see the liquid escape and slip onto the now flooded tiled floor. The rag is soaked and perhaps the flood will spread beyond the bathroom, sneaking under the door. Immersed with my feet wedged under the taps, I fantasize about a bottomless world, where the rain would wet myself and freeze my face a little more. When I look at the waves slowly carving themselves onto my fingertips, I wonder how long it would take me to dissolve. Splashed by the swirl of calm water, I can not resist this untamed force.

Flood /Fountain #1, Glazed stoneware, polymer clay, water, pump, 52cm × 44cm x 23cm, 2019, documentation: Bjarte Bjørkum, collection: Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum

Passage /Fountain #5, glazed stoneware, gardening hose, synthetic rubber, metal, water, pump, 56cm × 45cm x 40cm, 2021, documentation: Bjarte Bjørkum

Twins /Fountain #4, glazed stoneware, gardening hose, synthetic rubber, metal, wood, water, pump, 55cm × 35cm x 35cm, 2021, documentation: Alf-Georg Dannevig / Sørlandets Kunstmuseum (Årsutstilligen 2021)

Eventful relationship, glazed stoneware, shower hose. 100cm × 35cm x 90cm, 2021, documentation: Høstutstilligen 2022 (above), Bjarte Bjørkum (below)

Soap /Fountain #6, glazed stoneware, gardening hose, synthetic rubber, water, pump, 58cm × 45cm x 40cm, 2021, documentation: Kösk Gallery

Untitled (On non-existent corners), glazed stoneware, metal, synthetic rubber, 100cm × 90cm x 40cm, 2021, documentation: Bjarte Bjørkum

Text: Sara Kollstrøm Heilevang

In Ballages universe we are met with failing as a strategy to encounter the unknown. When something has failed, that something is in disagreement with what actually is. To fail can therefore be viewed as an action that seeks to get closer to, or uncover a truth, and makes the premise for how the human kind learns about itself in relation to the world.
To embrace failing is in a way like surrendering to the sea. One loses control, overview and points of navigation. But it can also be accepted as an invitation, an opening to experimenting and approaching the potential of material on other premises. In the exhibition different states of water meet in circulation, communicating with one another. Sometimes flawlessly, sometimes dysfunctionally.
The molecules of water are attracted to itself, the ones forming the outside surface always trying to get closer to the ones within. This makes water as material always wanting to become more compact, intimate and spherical, struggling to get away from its own surface tension. In larger bodies of water, such as the human body or sculptures made of clay, this tension is overcome by the force of gravity.
In her practice Ballage explores her own potential as a body of water, drawn back to the other molecules of water in the sea. This is however putting herself up to fail, as mankind's development of lungs has turned humans into breathing, water carrying vessels, not quite beholden to neither land nor sea.
In her works for Bath Time the desire towards water is grounded through ceramic sculptures of glazed stoneware contemplating water circulation and exploring the fountain as an impractical machine.