Artist’s high-rise piano drop falls flat with res­i­dents

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY CHAR­LOTTE OLIVER

A TURNER Prize-nom­i­nated artist has been forced to can­cel plans to drop a piano from the top of a block of flats af­ter res­i­dents com­plained.

Cather­ine Yass, 51, wanted to push the in­stru­ment from the top of the empty 27-storey Bal­fron Tower in Poplar, east Lon­don, as part of an art project.

But the Poplar Hous­ing and Re­gen­er­a­tion Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion stepped in af­ter re­ceiv­ing a pe­ti­tion signed by more than 250 people ac­cus­ing Ms Yass of anti-so­cial be­hav­iour.

An­drea Baker, di­rec­tor of hous­ing, said: “We’ve lis­tened to the con­cerns and as a re­sult the project will not be go­ing ahead.”

MsYass­said­she­was­dis­ap­point­ed­but did not blame any­one for the de­ci­sion. “I wanted to make some­thing about the dif­fi­cul­ties of mod­ernist ar­chi­tec­ture and, in a way, I walked straight into those very is­sues.”

She said she orig­i­nally had the idea while work­ing on an art­work for the Jewish cul­tural cen­tre, JW3. She buried­pho­tographs in the rub­ble of the build­ing that pre­vi­ously oc­cu­pied the cen­tre’s site in north-west Lon- don. “It was all about how some­thing won­der­ful can come from some­thing that is de­stroyed,” she said. Ms Yass hopes to find an al­ter­na­tive site to per­form the

drop.

Cather­ine Yass was stopped from us­ing Bal­fron Tower

PHOTO: JOHN R RIFKIN

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