MHIYH – Lean To – 2015-2016

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Lean to, by Folke Koebberling

Berlin based artist Folke Koebberling was struck by the changes in Borough and London Bridge since her last commission ‘Jelly Fish Theatre’ few years ago for The Architecture Foundation in London. Her starting point into the project was the below quote from the Guardian.

“The London Borough of Southwark has become a prime site for the capital’s housing crisis rage. From unsold £50m apartments at the top of the Shard to the redevelopment of postwar municipal estates…….. London is be- coming a high-rise, high-cost city that puts the wealthy first.“                                            Dave Hill – The Guardian (2014)

The endless construction sites surrounding Balin House and threats to social housing, lead to the ideas that created ‘Lean to’.

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Lean to’ was a commentary on the decline of social housing in the UK, specifically London. The net curtain: a tactic deployed by local authorities to demonstrate occupancy at the time of decanting is used in this installation and woven to imitate construction fencing – a first sign of development. In the Balcony of 22 Balin House, this skin fixed to a temporary lean to structure is a provisional room for a stranger.

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In the fish tank Folke positions a stone as a home to a beetle – Hylotrupes bajulus

The Hylotrupes bajulus is a beetle, which is 2mm long and 1mm wide and resembles a shrimp. It has recently been discovered in modern concrete that is cured too fast en- demic of speedy construction practices. The beetle has a lifespan of 12months in which time it lays 1000 eggs a week. Each beetle feeds on 3grams of cement a day. Once in- festation takes place a collapse is imminant and thus the property devalues rapidly. The only way the Beetle is contained is by being submerged within its concrete home, under fresh water surrounded by Algae.”

The installation was open to the public for three month and visitors had an intimate viewing of the work explained by Eduardo Padilha and a tour of his home.

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