The press release for Haroon Mirza’s show at Lisson Gallery leaves a lot to the imagination. Six simple bullet points give a very basic description of the works he has installed in the space. Point one: ‘a turntable piece’. Further down: ‘some light works’. Although Mirza’s installations’ have an unembellished, techno-functional aesthetic which matches these spare descriptions, conceptually they are rich and expansive far beyond physical form.
Mirza, winner of the Silver Lion Award for a promising young artist two years ago at the Venice Biennale, is known for his ambitious and ground-breaking work with sound, sculpture, space and light. His sensory immersive sonic environments reverberate through the rooms at Lisson Gallery: ‘it’s weird – you can feel it right through your body’ one visitor commented whilst standing in the ‘LED surround sound sequencer’ upstairs at the gallery. Another: ‘this is how my brain works’.
The ‘LED surround sound sequencer’ (another of the bullet points) can be found in an airless and grey soundproofed room, where a ring of speakers are linked up to a small ring of LEDs. The interlinking wires are pulled taut and precisely arranged in a kind of elegant 3-D line drawing, and the lights flash on and off in an unknown automated sequence, communicating with their opposite speakers which pulsate in tandem.
Downstairs, the spotless floor of the gallery is dotted with turntables, wires, pieces of vinyl and great wads of violently angular soundproofing foam mounted at different points on the walls. Crackling, scratching, whomp-whomping sounds pick their way across the room.
Mirzas’s work is not confined to the series of spaces at Lisson Gallery. This week will see the opening of a second audio composition and light installation at the Hepworth Wakefield, where Mirza works with the architecture to distort and change the displays of objects from the Hepworth’s collection of modern British painting and sculpture. His work also expands into the internet sphere, on Vinyl Factory‘s interactive website, where all of Mirza’s samples are available to play with. If you’re nifty with an MP4 and fancy yourself as a potential collaborator, there is also the chance to put together a track – which might even stand the chance of being released by the record label. (Words: Florence Ritter)
On until June 29th. For more info, visit: www.lissongallery.com/#/artists/haroon-mirza