Haroon Mirza

PROJECT 1049 @ Gastad, Jul 29 – 21 Aug

26 July 2016

The PROJECT 1049 artist-led group exhibition presents large-scale and site-specfic works in and around Switzerland’s Gstaad, opening July 29 running through August 21.

Co-curators Raphael Hefti and Paul Kneale work together to “encourage collaborative networks of production and dissemination” and to push boundaries of making and exhibiting work. Other participants include Megan Rooney, ÅYR, Vanessa Billy, Laura Mclean-Ferris, Haroon Mirza, Marlie Mul, Laure Prouvost, Dan Solbach, Julia Tcharfas, Ben Vickers, and Richard Wentworth.

Artists involved have been invited to “respond to Gstaad and the Saanenland as a host venue, and PROJECT 1049 as artist-organized—acknowledging the spirit of both core elements to make new and critically relevant work that is engaged in the immediate context, both ideologically and geographically”. Works included vary greatly in form and content and are dispersed across the region to create unexpected “moments of engagement and reflection” for viewers.

The opening includes the world premiere of a film by curator Paul Pieroni, made in collaboration with artist Holly White, live performances at high altitude, a curators’ tour, artists panel discussion, music, food, and a party.

See the PROJECT 1049 website website for more details.**

PROJECT 1049 @ Gastad 29, Jul – 21 Aug

Paul Kneale, ‘Browsing History’ (2016). Courtesy the artist.


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Forget Amnesia @ Serpentine Galleries, Aug 22

21 August 2014

London’s Serpentine Galleries continues its Park Nights 2014 programme with Forget Amnesia on August 22 at 8pm.

Featuring the work of British artists Haroon Mirza and Mark Fell and that of Korean artist Okkyung Lee, the event will be “an evening of light and sound synthesis”, taking inspiration from the Pavilion’s unique acoustic and spatial environs, designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radić, and transforming it through acoustic and spatial installations.

The sold-out evening performance comes as part of the Park Nights 2014 programme – an annual line-up of live art, music, poetry, literature, film and performance that recently featured an exhibition by Ed Atkins – and also as part of Fiorucci Art Trust‘s Italian festival Forget Amnesia, curated by Mirza and Milovan Farronato. 

See the Serpentine Galleries event page for details. **

Mark Fell, Self and Now (2013). Installation view. Image courtesy artist and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts. Photograph by Colin Davison.
Mark Fell, Self and Now (2013). Installation view. Image courtesy artist and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts. Photograph by Colin Davison.
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Haroon Mirza @ Lisson Gallery reviewed

24 May 2013

Haroon Mirza’s  o/o/o/o installations at Lisson Gallery visualise minimalistic production processes, run electric dreams between sonic mechanisms, amplify insect movements across reverb chambers, and throw broken samples into site-specific wave patterns.

Industrial, stripped-back, bare, it is an exhibition where echoes of the minimal artist’s practice is laid bare. Squared to the entrance, ‘Untitled 2013’ visually marks out a borrowed aesthetic.  Small and rectangular, divided into one green half and another blue segment composed from a series of commercially available LED lights, it clearly mirrors Dan Flavin’s use of readymade fluorescent lights, made up as luminescent sculptures in national art galleries. It’s famous, beyond the walls of most private contemporary collections and deliberately so.

Located within Lisson Gallery, ‘Sitting in a Chamber 2013’ takes a conceptual cue. Its homemade records spun over turntables reminiscent of Christian Marclay’s earlier Recycled Records played over decks as instrumentation, is a video work interacting with samples onscreen, close to ‘Telephones’ (1995)’s own mastery of sound and visual experimentation. Ideas and forms acquired from artists Mirza clearly admires, sampled and mixed together anew.

Haroon Mirza, 'Sitting in a Chamber' (2013), detail, full caption in pdf, Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery.
Haroon Mirza, ‘Sitting in a Chamber’ (2013), detail, full caption in pdf, Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery.

It is a blatant use. Like much house music, on which Mirza places great value, it is purposefully self-referential. A wall of noise for those new to the club but a new cut of sounds referential to genres, scenes, places, people, emotions and more, for those in the know. Here, Mirza produces a new track, made up out of sampled bass lines, high notes and rhythms, and at the same time a new artwork edited out of visual cues, concepts and sounds.

Importantly, sound is deconstructed visually. A video piece, part of ‘Sitting in a Chamber’ (2013) shows us a filmed screen shots of Audacity, a sequencer programme, on which the word “speech”, spoken out loud as a vocal and “articulated by speech” as an acapella, is looped into oblivion. Electronic music’s production process distorted first hand.

Interactively, in ‘Adam, Eve, others and a UFO’ (2013) visible speakers placed in a circle around a faux studio room invite visitors to walk though a mapped-out track. Architecturally, in ‘Pavilion for Optimisation’ (2013), a chamber created in collaboration with his brother Omar Mirza is a space is created where echoes from samples of a shower and an ant are overblown live in sequence to a light that floods the space with a powerful effect. Online ‘o-o-o-o.co.uk’ allows for samples from the show to be downloaded, remixed and uploaded in a cycle without a potential end.

Where Mirza panders to highly conceptual pieces of work, he excels. Reference to Alvin Lucier’s 1969 piece, ‘I am sitting in a room’, insatiably produce a worthy back catalogue of footnotes. As an exhibition, however. o/o/o/o condescends in its attempt to link avant-garde composition with underground electronic dance music. Punk-rock aggression sanitised and sequenced, house music’s groove lost.

Haroon Mirza’s /o/o/o/o/, is running at Lisson Gallery from May 17 to June 29, 2013.

Header image: Haroon Mirza, ‘Adam, Eve and a UFO’ (2013) Active speakers, UFO circuit, cables. Image courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery.


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