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Permanent Change of Station, Leave No Traces: Gosia Herc-Balaszek

Permanent Change of Station, Leave No Traces
Gosia Herc-Balaszek
February 4 through April 16, 2017

In the artist’s own words:

Camp Pendleton: ten thousand people and no ghosts. The nomads leave no trace. Their dwellings are in the spaces that are neither public nor private. They hover above and between the surfaces that protect them from weather and history. They train and rest in buildings that are very much alike. Spaces that simulate homes but are nothing more than Shells — forms without identity. The community is continually changing; the houses are in constant flux. The cyclical aspect of military life does not allow rootedness. Neither people nor memories are allowed to stay. It is hard to tell if the spaces are thoroughly cleaned between tenants or maybe the tenants inhabit the spaces between cleanings. This perpetual erasure is quiet; there is no nostalgia, no spectacle about it. The houses are gutted from the inside; walls are repainted, floors replaced. All that is visible are piles of rolled carpets spilling out through a garage door as if the house is purging any residue of the people that once occupied it. The carpets are cheap and replaceable.

I collect the carpets.


A native of Poland, Gosia Herc-Balaszek currently lives and practices in Southern California.   Her sculptural work engages concepts of domesticity, simulation, and perpetual erasure, focusing on the architecture aboard military installations, particularly Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.   Her practice slips between collecting, archiving, voyeurism, and vandalism.   Gosia is a recent graduate of the University of California at Irvine MFA program and alumna of the Visual Arts program at the University of California at San Diego.