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Haroon Mirza, May to July 2013

Haroon Mirza was born in 1977, he lives and works between London and Sheffield.

In his installations, Haroon Mirza combines heterogeneous objects (antique furniture, old radios, musical instruments, electronic equipment, lights) to create complex sound compositions.


Haroon Mirza blurs the distinction between noise, sound and music by altering the function and meaning of the everyday objects he uses, as well as the meaning of their cultural and social codes. In his projects, the artist uses the interference of electricity flowing through sound and light devices to create sounds, which, repeated in a loop, create a rhythm or trigger movements that affect other objects.

Mirza sometimes uses other artists' works in his work in the same way as furniture or electrical appliances, each of these elements bringing their own social or political history, by re-associating them he obtains a new context.

Haroon Mirza wants to take art to peripheral areas of music, his work feeds off both Art History and Music History, as if he was taking music into the pictorial language.

Haroon Mirza experienced his residency in Saché as a true experiment. The first days, he went to the studio blindfolded, in order to discover an unknown place only through the usual sounds of this space.
During his residency, he developed a sound and light installation, The Calling, composed of radios, loudspeakers, videos and lamps. This complex device seems to function as a chain reaction. Indeed, the introduction of electricity seems to be the cause of the triggering of several phenomena at the same time sound, light, setting in motion different objects. If at first glance, the activation of this whole device seems random, this sudden "hyperactivity" of the elements is in fact the result of precise computer programming.
Faced with this installation, the spectator is solicited from all sides: the beam of light from the LEDs, the speakers that spit out sound as if they were in the grip of a short circuit, the images and the jerky music of the video whose sound - between music and noise - totally permeates the space of the studio, contribute to creating a feeling of surprise, uneasiness or anxiety.
This staging punctuated with images and a soundtrack - alternating music tracks and artificial sound effects - shows that Haroon Mirza refers to the world of electro music and the mixing techniques used by DJs.

During the workshop visit organised on 22 July 2013, Haroon Mirza invited the cellist Okkyung Lee for a performance. By combining the cello's musical compositions with his artistic approach, the artist reveals the conception of music as a singular experience.

In 2011, he was awarded the Silver Lion at the 54th Venice Biennale for his work Illuminations (2011), he is the winner of the Northern Art Prize in 2010.

Photos: Guillaume Blanc

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