Haroon Mirza at IMMA

The first solo museum exhibition in Ireland by the renowned British artist Haroon Mirza opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Saturday 8 March 2014. Are jee be? is a new body of work created in direct response to the environment and architecture of IMMA. Thematically, the body of work is entitled The System, 2014, and can be read as one work. The title references the name of the Dublin based ‘90s underground nightclub venue System, which although only in existence for a few years was an important element in the history of dance music in Dublin, a music genre that has been a key influences on the artist’s work. Mirza’s new project, Are jee be?, combines a variety of readymade and time-based materials to create audio compositions, which are often realised as site-specific installations. In doing so, he complicates the distinctions between noise, sound and music.

Haroon Mirza , Digital Switchover, 2012
Haroon Mirza , Digital Switchover, 2012

The exhibition’s title Are Jee Be? is based on the RGB colour model, phonetically written and posing a question to the viewer. The name of the RGB model comes from the initials of the three additive primary colours, red, green, and blue. The main purpose of the RGB colour model is for the sensing and display of images in electronic systems. In the installation System each room will have its own specific sound and colour – red, green and blue.

The exhibition feature remnants of the recent Eileen Gray exhibition at IMMA. Occupying the same gallery spaces, the Gray exhibition will act as a ‘readymade’ from which Mirza will remix elements to create a new visual and sonic installation. Recently invited to complete a project in Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye (with whom Gray had a legendary and turbulent affiliation) at Poissy in the outskirts of Paris, the opportunity for Mirza to feature elements of the Eileen Gray exhibition for his own purposes sets up an interesting counterpoint in which to experience his own innovative work practice. Mirza’s interest in design and architecture is continually apparent and can be seen in his use of found furniture in earlier works, as well as an understanding of spatial and perceptual relationships within his installations.

The exhibition also features a sequence of Solar Powered LED Circuit Compositions directly from the artist’s studio and a new departure in Mirza’s practice. These panels are controlled and activated by the amount of light in the space, and will change according to the time of day. Mirza also presents, in a new way, the infamous Björk YouTube video in which she poetically explains how she believes a TV works whilst dismantling the device.

Alongside IMMA, Mirza will present solo exhibitions in 2014 at Le Grande Café, Centre d'Art Contemporain, France; and at the Villa Savoye, France. He won the Daiwa Art Foundation Prize (2012)), and was awarded the Silver Lion Award at the 54th Venice Biennale Illuminations (2011), and the Northern Art Prize (2010). He holds an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design, and an MA in Critical Practice and Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London.