The Human Element: Conversation with Miroslaw Balka at Walmer Yard

Date: 23 January 2018

Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm

Location: Walmer Yard, 235–239 Walmer Road, London W11 4EY

DRAF is excited to launch its 2019 programme by hosting a conversation with artist Miroslaw Balka at a recently-completed, outstanding housing project. Walmer Yard, designed and crafted by architect Peter Salter together with Fenella Collingridge, provides an unoccupied, untouched site for the event.

Miroslaw Balka is an internationally-acclaimed artist, best known in the UK for his Unilever commission at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2009-10 among many other projects. His large-scale installations and sculptural interventions reference places that trace resonances of people and animals. Drawing parallels between  Balka’s artistic practice and Salter’s architectural approach to buildings and the lived environment, the conversation concentrates on the human element in both methodologies.

Salter gathers four materials in Walmer Yard’s construction, reminiscent of Balka’s material restrictions in his sculptures and installations. The venue promises multifarious parallels with Balka’s concerns and considerations, at times proving to be contradictory with one another. Through exploring Balka’s artistic oeuvre, the conversation will stir key concerns on the undeniable influences of the built environment and the formation of social behaviour.

The conversation will be moderated by Fatoş Üstek (Director & Chief Curator, DRAF) and Marlies Augustijn (Assistant Curator, DRAF) and will be followed by a short tour of the houses.

This event is a collaboration with the Baylight Foundation based at Walmer Yard, taking place in the run up to Balka’s solo-exhibition Random Access Memory, opening at White Cube Mason’s Yard on Thursday 24 January, 6 – 8pm.

Miroslaw Balka (b. 1958, Warsaw, Poland) lives and works in Poland. Solo exhibitions include Hangar Bicocca, Milan (2017); Museum of Art MS1, Lodz, Poland (2015); Freud Museum, London (2014); Akademie Der Kunste, Berlin (2011); Museo Nacional Centre de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2010); Modern Art Oxford, UK (2009); Tate Modern, London (2009); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2007); Museum of Contemporary Art, Strasbourg, France (2004); and Dundee Contemporary Arts, Scotland (2002). Balka has participated in numerous group exhibitions including Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2018); Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna (2017); Fundacion la Caixa, Barcelona, Spain (2016); Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2014); 55th Venice Biennale (2013); Museum Stzuki, Lodz, Poland (2010); 51st Venice Biennale (2005); 45th Venice Biennale (1993); Documenta 9, Kassel, Germany (1992); and 44th Venice Biennale (1990).

Walmer Yard forms a discreet and private set of four interlocking houses totalling more than 800m2, set around an open courtyard. This building, designed and crafted by Peter Salter together with Fenella Collingridge, and developed by Crispin Kelly, is the reflection of a long education and the product of a decade of learning, thought and inspiration. From the play of light, shadow and colour, to the intense celebration of materials and constantly fresh sequences of spaces, these houses celebrate what architecture can deliver at the domestic scale. The houses now form the home of the Baylight Foundation, a charitable organisation with the aim of increasing the public understanding of what architecture can do, rooted in the experience of Walmer Yard.

  • Fatos Ustek, Marlies Augustijn and Miroslaw Balka
The Human Element: Conversation with Miroslaw Balka at Walmer Yard 23 Jan 2019
Photo: Christa Holka
    1/5Fatos Ustek, Marlies Augustijn and Miroslaw Balka The Human Element: Conversation with Miroslaw Balka at Walmer Yard 23 Jan 2019 Photo: Christa Holka
  • Mirsolaw Balka
The Human Element: Conversation with Miroslaw Balka at Walmer Yard 23 Jan 2019
Photo: Christa Holka
    2/5Mirsolaw Balka The Human Element: Conversation with Miroslaw Balka at Walmer Yard 23 Jan 2019 Photo: Christa Holka
  • The Human Element: Conversation with Miroslaw Balka at Walmer Yard 23 Jan 2019
Photo: Christa Holka
    3/5The Human Element: Conversation with Miroslaw Balka at Walmer Yard 23 Jan 2019 Photo: Christa Holka
  • Peter Salter
The Human Element: Conversation with Miroslaw Balka at Walmer Yard 23 Jan 2019
Photo: Christa Holka
    4/5Peter Salter The Human Element: Conversation with Miroslaw Balka at Walmer Yard 23 Jan 2019 Photo: Christa Holka
  • Miroslaw Balka 
250 x 700 x 455, ø 41 x 41/Zoo/T (2007/08) 
Steel, electric light, red wine and pump 
98 7/16 x 275 9/16 x 179 1/8 in. (250 x 700 x 455 cm.) 
 
Photo: Stephen White, courtesy of White Cube 
Courtesy the artist and David Roberts Collection
    5/5Miroslaw Balka 250 x 700 x 455, ø 41 x 41/Zoo/T (2007/08) Steel, electric light, red wine and pump 98 7/16 x 275 9/16 x 179 1/8 in. (250 x 700 x 455 cm.) Photo: Stephen White, courtesy of White Cube Courtesy the artist and David Roberts Collection