Katarzyna Krakowiak-Balka: Where does any Miracle start?

Katarzyna Krakowiak-Balka: Where does any Miracle start?

Jeu de Paume

January 20, 2023
Katarzyna Krakowiak-Balka
Where does any Miracle start?
November 7, 2022–April 30, 2023
Concert: January 27, 7:30pm
Jeu de Paume
1, place de la Concorde
75008 Paris
Facebook / Instagram / Instagram

The concert takes place as part of Katarzyna Krakowiak-Balka’s project Where does any Miracle start?, currently on view at the Jeu de Paume. This protean work by the Polish artist comprises a sound installation and an online feature, manifesting her interest in the acoustics of architecture at its intersection with living organisms. The artist was inspired by the analogy between the movement of a ball, bouncing off the walls of a palm court, and the movement of sound reflecting off any surface.

“This piece is dedicated to small migrants: insects”—says the artists—“the way they invisibly occupy architecture. For they are also activists, they negotiate space, are flexible, have the strength to survive and regenerate quickly, and never give up. I want to make their presence visible, to give them a voice. In this way, Jeu de Paume speaks with the voices of marginalized beings.”

Krakowiak-Balka recorded sounds with which animals and insects communicate, often at frequencies inaudible to the human ear. Using seismic sensors and in collaboration with scientists, the artist studied the inhabitants of the park in their environment. Thus, the building listens to its surrounding: by diffusing the sounds inside, they are combined and distorted by the architecture which expresses them again.

The sound installation and the online work were inaugurated by a live concert on November 8, 2022. Krakowiak-Balka composed a piece of rare intensity in which the vocal range of renowned experimental singers—Audrey Chen, Isabelle Duthoit and Ute Wassermann—was put to the test. While strolling in the garden around Jeu de Paume, the performers Isabelle Duthoit, Véronique Chevalier, Claire Bergerault and Violaine Lochu make the building sing, heard by the public gathered inside the hall. The singers’ voices try to imitate but also converse with the sound vibrations of the insects, as they did in a first concert of November 8, 2022. The artist is also preparing an album of recordings of insects attracted by light at night. The release of this new vinyl record is scheduled for 2023.

The concert resonates with a sound installation, presented in the hall of Jeu de Paume until January 29. This sound installation is looped in the main hall of Jeu de Paume, through a custom-made mobile loudspeaker emitting a high-frequency sound beam and five transducers that play the glass walls. Bouncing off the walls and imitating the trajectory of a ball, the sound travels through space like an air current. The sound content comes from recordings made in natural ecosystems, especially the Tuileries Garden, as well as the voices of the singers. The glass of the windows of the institution becomes a screen for the sound, transforming the whole building into a listening system, a giant amplifier. A new musical composition is played every half hour. Using Jeu de Paume building as an instrument, Krakowiak explores another facet of its creative potential.

The links between the historic building, the current art centre, and the closest living environment, the Jardin des Tuileries, are further explored through the work presented in the online creation space. Working from architectural plans and archival documents, the artist created acoustic animations. These sound simulations allow us to hear how the building resonated at different times in the past: in the present time, in 1940, in 1909, in 1862 and 1575.

Finally, the digital piece in the online creation space will continue and be available on the online creation space until the end of April 2023.

Curator: Marta Ponsa
Coordination and artistic advice: Magda Gemra
General coordination: Mélanie Lemaréchal
Stage Manager: Gaël Angelis, Juan Carlos Salazar
Technical assistant: Jan Moszumański
Sound engineer: Ben Pagier
Sound transcription: Krzysztof Marciniak
Collaboration on acoustic models: archAKUSTIK (Andrzej Kłosak, Bartosz Ziarko)
Website: Michał Szota
Research on Romanticism in Poland: Katarzyna Buszkowska
Produced with the support of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute

RSVP for Katarzyna Krakowiak-Balka: Where does any Miracle start?
Jeu de Paume
January 20, 2023

Thank you for your RSVP.

Jeu de Paume will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.