About the Artwork

This sound work was produced in London in 2014 for Miroslaw Balka’s concurrent solo exhibitions at the Freud Museum and White Cube Mason’s Yard. Conducted by the artist, this eerie recording features White Cube’s male staff individually whistling Elmer Bernstein’s theme tune to the 1963 film ‘The Great Escape’. Usually installed in enclosed, darkened spaces, Balka’s recording evokes a hopeful suggestion of freedom undercut by the fragility of its disembodied, isolated voices. In this way, the allusion to imprisonment is re-enforced, escape shown to be, if not futile, then elusive, and abstracted from its glossier,Hollywood treatment.

This piece is available to listen to between 8:30am-7pm

Year: 2014

Courtesy of White Cube Photo: © Nick Turpin




Variable size

Artist Biography

Miroslaw Balka

Miroslaw Balka was born in 1958 in Warsaw, Poland and lives and works in Warsaw and Otwock. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘CROSSOVER/S’, Hangar Bicocca, Milan (2017); ‘Nerve.Construction’, Museum Sztuki, Lodz (2016); ‘Die Traumdeutung 75,32m AMSL‘ Freud Museum, London (2014); ‘Fragment’, National Centre For Contemporary Art, Moscow; ‘Nachtgesichten’, WRO Art Center, Wroclaw (2013); Akademie Der Kunste, Berlin and CCA Warsaw; ‘Between Honey & Ashes’, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2011); Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2010); Modern Art Oxford, Oxford and Tate Modern Turbine Hall Commission, London (2009). Balka has participated in major group exhibitions worldwide including: Venice Biennale (1990, 2003, 2005, 2013; in 1993 he represented Poland), documenta IX, Kassel (1992), Sydney Biennale (1992, 2006), The Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (1995), Sao Paulo Biennale (1998), Liverpool Biennial (1999), Santa Fe Biennale (2006). His work is represented in public collections worldwide including Tate, London; MOCA, Los Angeles; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC; Museu Serralves, Porto; Moderna Museet, Stockholm and The National Museum of Art, Osaka.