Wednesday 2 November, 7.00 – 8.00pm
Rebecca Heald, Director of New Contemporaries, led a tour of the Haroon Mirza exhibition.
Using an eclectic range of objects and elements including used furniture, outdated electric appliances, electronic materials, light and the appropriated work of other artists, Haroon Mirza creates complex audio installations which investigate the moment where noise becomes music
For his installation, Mirza bought together a number of instruments traditionally associated with bands including a keyboard, drum kit and synthesisers fused with turntables, LED lighting, lamps and radios in order to create a minimal audio composition.
In Mirza’s assemblages each element played a specific part; objects affected each other and were reconfigured in different ways. Similarly to a band there was no singular focus, rather the work was a constantly moving combination of elements which merged through discordant and harmonious beats and rhythms. Through an investigation of both sculptural assemblage and musical composition Mirza revealed the formation of music in the course of an autonomous live experience.
Part of his installation for Camden Art Centre re-used an idea originated in a work by Angus Fairhurst, Underdone / Overdone Paintings (1998) where he allowed the audience to play the drums while looking at his paintings. Mirza is exhibiting a number of these paintings as well as a drum kit in order to honour Fairhurst’s original intention for the work. Visitors were able to make their own rhythmic contribution of noise, sound or music to Mirza’s controlled acoustic environment.
Mirza viewed his use of other artists work in the same way as he viewed the found objects and musical equipment in an installation; each containing their own social and political history so when combined together new contexts are formed. He was interested in taking art to the peripheries of music and his work was informed by the history of both art and music – specifically the avant-garde musicians Edgar Varèse and Karlheinz Stockhausen, who pushed music into the language of visual art.