Haroon Mirza: Adam, Eve, Others and a UFO
Evocative light installation transforms Summerhall gallery
It's easy to see why Haroon Mirza won the Silver Lion at the 54th Venice Biennale: his art, which utilises technology to create imposing, otherworldly, installations, is completely unique. Yes, light art has been around a long time, and there's plenty of interesting work being made in this area, but Mirza does something altogether different with his primal and evocative exploration of the senses.
First exhibited at Lisson Gallery – the commercial gallery representing Mirza – Adam, Eve, Others and a UFO comprises eight speakers arranged in a circle as if around a bonfire or sacred object. Unnecessarily long tendril-like wires lead away from the speakers and take a diversion up to the ceiling and hang down to the 'UFO circuit' to which they are connected in the centre.
The analogy that art galleries are akin to places of worship has never felt so pertinent. The square room is consumed by the artwork it contains; likewise, the viewer in its presence. The speakers emit violent buzzes and shrieks: sometime rhythmical, sometimes erratic. Just when you think you've fathomed out its logic, it goes into free-fall.
As Mirza has said previously, all noise is just noise without context, without organisation. Adam, Eve, Others and a UFO brings this truth home with a monstrous but beautiful work.
Summerhall, 4 Aug–30 Sep, free.