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First solo exhibition in Germany by the British artist Haroon Mirza opens at Schering Stiftung
Haroon Mirza, Backfade_5 (Dancing Queen), 2011. Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery.

BERLIN.- The first solo exhibition in Germany by the British artist Haroon Mirza has a strikingly cryptic title: --{}{}{} {}--{}{}{}{}--{}. As the typographical equivalent of a wave form, it translates sound into a visual representation, thus referring to the work that Mirza developed especially for the Project Space of the Ernst Schering Foundation. The artist uses the shadow gaps that are typical for exhibition spaces as a starting point for creating a new light and sound composition.

Haroon Mirza’s artworks revolve around the complex relationship between visuality and acoustics and unfold in a continuous loop as audio-visual compositions in space. In his acoustic assemblages, he uses found, culturally coded objects which he separates from their original function, turning them into triggers for sounds that form precise, self-generating compositions. These soundscapes are experienced in a way that is directly connected to a visual encounter. For Mirza, it is decisive “to understand visual and acoustic space as one sensorial mode of perception” (Mirza, 2010).

In --{}{}{} {}--{}{}{}{}--{}, the Project Space itself becomes a found, occupied object. Made to fit the requirements of contemporary art exhibitions, the Project Space adheres to the paradigms of a typical exhibition space of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: the so-called “White Cube”. Mirza’s inspiration comes from specific shadow gaps – the gaps between the floor and walls – which he occupies with a subtle intervention: LED bands running inside the gaps draw our attention to this architectural detail, and they simultaneously trigger acoustic signals that become the basic structure of a sound composition. The structure of the room is both translated into an acoustic composition and is occupied by it, just as --{}{}{} {}--{}{}{}{}--{} not only refers to sound, but is also a typographical transfer of “occupied scheringstiftung”.

Haroon Mirza, born in 1977, lives and works in Sheffield and London. In 2010 he was awarded the Northern Art Prize. In 2011 he received the Silver Lion for a promising young artist at the Venice Biennale.

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