Haroon Mirza: Aestival Infinato (Solar Symphony 11)

Aestival Infinato (Solar Symphony 11) in the James Turrell Deer Shelter Skyspace Image 1 of 5
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James Turrell, Deer Shelter Skyspace, 2006. An Art Fund Commission. Courtesy the artist. Image 2 of 5
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James Turrell, Deer Shelter Skyspace, 2006. An Art Fund Commission. Image 3 of 5
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Aestival Infinato (Solar Symphony 11) in the James Turrell Deer Shelter Skyspace Image 4 of 5
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Sunlight Infinato (Solar Symphony 5), 2014, Photovoltaic Panel, LEDs, circuitry, speaker, plywood, TV mount. Courtesy hrm199 and Lisson Gallery. Photography Jack Hems Image 5 of 5
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03.06.17 - 02.07.17
Deer Shelter Skyspace
To coincide with the summer solstice, Haroon Mirza has created a new intervention in James Turrell’s Deer Shelter Skyspace as part of his ongoing Solar Symphony series, a body of work in which nature becomes the composer as the sun and the clouds determine the light and sound that are emitted from the sculpture.

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‘The sun is the provider of almost all the energy on the planet, and although we only harness a tiny fraction of that energy, it is and has been throughout the history of life the subject of awe, worship and inspiration'  – Haroon Mirza

Mirza's sculpture, Aestival Infinato (Solar Symphony 11), was conceived especially for James Turrell’s Deer Shelter Skyspace at YSP. It creates an alternative symphony in the landscape between nature and technology, channelling the sun’s energy and finding new ways to give it both power and meaning. Situated within the Skyspace, the work references neolithic and megalithic monuments that worship the sun and creates a direct relationship and interaction between the changing environment within the space.

As the amount of sunlight changes, fluctuating with both the time of day and weather conditions overhead, the intensity and patterns of the LEDs and audio output will adjust accordingly, creating a direct interaction between the environment and Mirza’s installation. The photovoltaic panel used for Aestival Infinato (Solar Symphony 11) activates as direct sunlight tracks across the aperture in the roof. Many of the works from Mirza's Solar Symphony series generate bright light and loud sounds with more intense sun exposure, and dull light and quiet sounds on duller days. However, each individual work also embraces chaos and the unruly, which is integral to Mirza's work:

'I think it's interesting as a compositional component that it starts up with sunrise and as it gets to midday it goes "silent" for, perhaps, the most contemplative moment of the day. This wasn't "designed" but is a characteristic behaviour of the work, which was unexpected and should be embraced' – Haroon Mirza on Aestival Infinato (Solar Symphony 11) 

This harmony between Aestival Infinato (Solar Symphony 11) and the environment extends from the ideas and language of land art, referencing a long history of human creativity in relation to the sun, of channeling its power, and giving it a shape and voice. Mirza often combines and layers the work of other artists with his own and has previously responded to works by Jean Tinguely, Alexander Calder and Anish Kapoor.
Mirza has won international acclaim for installations that test the interplay and friction between sound and light waves and electric current. He devises kinetic sculptures, performances and immersive installations, such as The National Apavillion of Then and Now (2011), an anechoic chamber with a circle of light that grows brighter in response to increasing drone, and completely dark when there is silence. An advocate of interference (in the sense of electro-acoustic or radio disruption), Mirza creates situations that purposefully cross wires. He describes his role as a composer, manipulating electricity, a live, invisible and volatile phenomenon, to make it dance to a different tune and calling on instruments as varied as household electronics, vinyl and turntables, LEDs, furniture, video footage and existing artworks to behave differently. Processes are left exposed and sounds occupy space in an unruly way, testing codes of conduct and charging the atmosphere. Mirza asks us to reconsider the perceptual distinctions between noise, sound and music, and draws into question the categorisation of cultural forms.


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