Haroon Mirza: Preoccupied Waveforms

Studio 231


“Preoccupied Waveforms” is the first New York solo show by the artist Haroon Mirza.

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“Haroon Mirza: Preoccupied Waveforms,” 2012–13. Exhibition view: New Museum. Photo: Jesse Untracht-Oakner

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Mirza uses simple industrial materials to radically transform the perceptual experience of architectural space. Over the past ten years, Mirza has deployed a range of analog and digital devices to create dynamic compositions of sound and light. His performances, kinetic sculptures, and immersive installations have made him one of the most celebrated young international artists working today. Mirza was the recipient of both the 2010 Northern Art Prize in the United Kingdom and the Silver Lion Award for most promising young artist at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011).

“Haroon Mirza: Preoccupied Waveforms,” 2012–13. Exhibition view: New Museum. Photo: Jesse Untracht-Oakner

Mirza’s work is often distinguished by its improvised use of outmoded audiovisual technologies. Turntables, speaker cabinets, monitors, and more contemporary electronic equipment are rewired and integrated into objects that recall antiquated technologies, and work together to create new visual and auditory landscapes. More recently, Mirza has expanded his work to take on entire architectural environments. Strands of LED lights, fragments of video, and amplified electricity are programmed to disrupt and destabilize the exhibition space. Mirza often incorporates references to or even works by other artists into his installations and his pieces extend beyond formal experimentation to consider the social, historical, and political conditions in which his compositions are sited.

Mirza has recently completed a trio of interrelated site-specific exhibitions: \|\|\|\| \|\|\ at the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen in Switzerland, /\/\/\/\ /\/\ at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and --{}{}{} {}--{}{}{}{}--{} at the Ernst Schering Foundation in Berlin. These installations, whose titles comprise typographical symbols to represent various wavelengths, each use an array of programmed devices activated throughout diverse architectural spaces. Similarly, his project for the New Museum will use LED lights, video, and remixed samples of music and sounds to dissolve and reconstruct the Studio 231 space.

Haroon Mirza was born in London in 1977. He studied Design Critical Theory and Practice at Goldsmiths College and Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design. Mirza has presented exhibitions and performances at venues including Chisenhale Gallery, London, the Camden Arts Centre, London, and Spike Island, Bristol. His work has been included in a number of group exhibitions internationally including the British Art Show 7 (2010) and Performa 11. He currently lives and works in London and Sheffield, UK.

“Preoccupied Waveforms” is curated by Gary Carrion-Murayari, Kraus Family Curator, and Jenny Moore, Associate Curator.

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Generous support for Studio 231 is provided by Ellyn and Saul Dennison, Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg, Susan and Leonard Feinstein, Hermine and David Heller, Lietta and Dakis Joannou, Toby Devan Lewis, and the Board of Trustees of the New Museum.

Additional support for programming at Studio 231 is provided, in part, by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.

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