Haroon Mirza/hrm199 Ltd.

10 June – 6 September 2015

Exhibition Trailer

Haroon Mirza at his studio, London 2015 © Museum Tinguely, Basel; Foto: Sandra Beate Reimann
Between June 10 and September 6, Museum Tinguely hosts the most extensive exhibition to date of work by the London-based artist Haroon Mirza (born 1977). Mirza’s large spatial installations often include sound, light, video and film as well as randomly found objects and works by other artists. In this way, Mirza creates an immersive experience that challenges the eye, the ear and our spatial orientation. By showing existing works alongside several new pieces created especially for the exhibition and specific to the site where they are placed, Museum Tinguely presents the work of Mirza across a broad spectrum.

The ‘Haroon Mirza/hrm199 Ltd.’ exhibition focuses on the collaborative nature of the artist’s practice. The exhibition’s title, the name of Mirza’s studio and company ‘hrm199 Ltd.’ implies the essence of his approach. Artistic work is inherently a process with many contributors. It includes co-workers in the studio, the architect or the people involved at the museum as well as other artists. In this case the latter includes Alexander Calder, Channa Horwitz and Anish Kapoor, all of whom have either contributed their own work or engaged in a creative dialogue to lead to artistic innovation. Various forms of interaction such as appropriation, dialogic structures and complicity between the different contributors including the act of curating itself are presented. Accompanying the exhibition there is a catalogue that takes an experimental format by rendering the creative and practical interactions visible, mirroring the creative processes in the exhibition itself.

Haroon Mirza studied painting, design and theory at the Winchester School of Art, Goldsmiths and at Chelsea College of Art. He rose to international fame in 2011 when he was awarded the Silver Lion at the 54th Biennale of Venice. In 2014 he also received The Zurich Art Prize and The Nam June Paik Art Center Prize.
Mirza’s artistic creation is a permanent experiment within which critical analysis and categorisation of art production are investigated. His sound, light and media installations are characterised by formal precision as well as the development of complex narratives. They appeal to the sense of vision as much as to that of hearing and explore the relationship between the two. The site-specific installations create a multi-layered dialogue between the materials used including audio equipment, LEDs, solar panels as well as found footage and works by other artists. At times, the artist’s own creations are transformed back into material that is to be integrated into new works. A recurrent theme is ‘Mis-use’, the creative alienation and transformation of apparatus and its associated functions used as a strategy to break with established functions and to extend possibilities.
With artistic procedures of appropriation, the use of ready-mades and reverse ready-mades, as well as the incorporation of self-governing systems, Mirza questions the conditions under which art is produced and playfully deconstructs the role of the authors and artists.
It is this aspect that the exhibition ‘Haroon Mirza/hrm199 Ltd.’ focuses on. It therefore fits with the Museum’s exhibition programme to explore the core ideas of Jean Tinguely’s innovative practice of art and its relevance to the present. As early as the late 1950s, Tinguely examined co-operative and anti-institutional forms of art production such as in the joint works with Yves Klein (La Vitesse Totale, 1985) or the exhibitions ‘Dylaby’, ‘Hon’ and the project Le Cyclope.

Haroon Mirza, The System, 2014, dimensions variable, Foam, LEDs, specially built multi-media player, electronics, speakers, 3 channel video, Eileen Gray ephemera from The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Courtesy hrm199 Ltd.; Photo: Davey Moore
Haroon Mirza, An_Infinato, 2009, dimensions variable, Mixed media including unedited footage from Memory Bucket (2003) by Jeremy Deller and damaged off-cuts from Cycles #1 (1972/1977) 16mm film by Guy Sherwin, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London; Photo: Ken Adlard
How far are solo-exhibitions, against a background of deconstructed authorship, inherently group exhibitions? This a question on which the exhibition ‘Haroon Mirza/hrm199 Ltd.’ focuses by presenting a wide variation of artistic co-operation. Within Mirza’s oeuvre of works which develop co-operative practices, a key example can be found in the piece An_Infinato (2009) which combines footage of Guy Sherwin’s film Cycles #1 (1972/1977) and Jeremy Deller’s Video Memory Bucket (2003). By way of contrast the installation Sound Spill (Second Edition) (2009/2015), curated by Mirza and Richard Sides, retains the integrity of the three film and video works used, whilst at the same time formulating new connections. In an artistic dialogue Mirza responds with a sound and light installation to the conceptual drawings by Channa Horwitz.
In yet another work he uses a concave mirror by Anish Kapoor to explore its acoustic qualities with a loudspeaker. A work with co-operative qualities is to be found in the technologically upgraded marble sculpture, Standing Stones (2015), exhibited in Solitude Park and created by Mirza together with the Italian stone mason Mattia Bosco.
In several works Mirza refers directly to the Museum Tinguely collection. Inspired by the characteristic metallic screeching of the Mengele-Dance of Death (1986) Mirza developed an intervention with light and sound. His Pavilion for Optimisation (2013/2015) incorporates a variety of Tinguely’s Radio sculptures. He furthermore conceptualised Duet for a Duo (2015), a sound composition with works by Alexander Calder and Jean Tinguely. Calder’s Untitled (c. 1940) is set in motion through the use of a ventilator. This presents us with a rare opportunity to experience one of the works by Calder, which were originally intended to be in motion and to produce sound, the way they were conceived, rather than in their more commonly static presentation. Playing alongside are two of Jean Tinguely’s Radio sculptures (1962).
Haroon Mirza, Bitbang Mirror, 2015 (Prototype9), dimensions variable, Untitled (2013) by Anish Kapoor, LEDs, Arduino, speaker, amplifier, Courtesy of the artists; Photo: David Bebber
Haroon Mirza, Duet for a Duo, 2015 (Detail), dimensions variable, Photovoltaic panels, LEDs, Arduinos, rock speakers, cable temporarily incorporating Untitled (c. 1940) by Alexander Calder, fan, Untitled, Radio sculpture (1962) and Radio Stockholm, Radio sculpture (1966) by Jean Tinguely, Courtesy hrm199 Ltd.; Photo: David Bebber
Catalogue
A catalogue accompanies the exhibition which provides a platform for the presentation of the rhizome-like structure of creative as well as practical interactions. Mirza is thus exhibited in his extended sphere of production which includes other artists, co-workers in his studio, authors, employees of the Museum, graphic designers and other participants. In a format which allows for reading on two levels, the catalogue presents on the one hand, a process-oriented chronologically-ordered account of the creation of the exhibition, and on the other, a networked orientation of the individual interactions which are part of each exhibition project. Thus the catalogue provides an insight into the development of this rich and complex exhibition. An English and German Edition are available at the Museum’s shop or online for 48 CHF: ISBN: 978-3-9524392-1-0.

The exhibition has been devised by Roland Wetzel, Director of Museum Tinguely.
Contributing artists: Mattia Bosco, Alexander Calder, Jeremy Deller, Francesca Fornasari, Gaia Fugazza, Alexander Heim, Gary Hill, Channa Horwitz, Anish Kapoor, Haroon Mirza/hrm199 Ltd., TJ O’Keefe, Guy Sherwin, Richard Sides and Jean Tinguely.