Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) presents Aestival Infinato (Solar Symphony 11), 2017, a new sound and light sculpture by internationally acclaimed artist Haroon Mirza in the James Turrell Deer Shelter Skyspace. Aestival Infinato (Solar Symphony 11) is part of the artist’s ongoing Solar Symphony series and will be open to visitors over the summer solstice as part of YSP’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
Mirza’s Solar Symphonies are solar-powered sculptures and wall works that generate electronic audio compositions and LED light which changes according to the level of natural light to which they are exposed.
Mirza will fix a photovoltaic panel to one wall of the Skyspace, which will be activated as direct sunlight tracks across the space, emitting sound and light through LEDs and speakers. The light and sound are brighter, louder and faster-moving with fiercer sun and vice versa, creating a direct relationship and interaction between the changing environment and artwork.
Mirza has been familiar with YSP for some years and Aestival Infinato (Solar Symphony 11) was conceived as a response to the Deer Shelter Skyspace, taking its name from the old English word for summer and playing on the word ‘infinite’. It extends the 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. Sited within the Skyspace, Aestival Infinato (Solar Symphony 11) is a multi-layered sensory experience that is given another layer of complexity by being in the Skyspace, created by another contemporary artist. 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 is recognised 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 Apavilion of Then and Now (2011), an anechoic or echoless chamber with a circle of light that grows brighter in response to an increasing drone noise, and becomes 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 varied instruments to behave differently – including household electronics, vinyl and turntables, LEDs, furniture, video footage and existing artworks. 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.
Mirza will take part in an in-conversation event on 24 June 2017 with Dr Suchitra Sebastian, Lecturer in Physics at the Maxwell Centre and Director of the Cavendish Arts-Science Project, University of Cambridge.
Haroon Mirza was born in London in 1977 where he lives and works. He has a BA in Painting from Winchester School of Art, an MA in Design Critical Practice and Theory from Goldsmiths College (2006) and an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design (2007). Recent solo exhibitions include: Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada (2017); Summerhall Festival 2016, Edinburgh, UK; Pivô, São Paulo, Brazil (2016); Nam June Paik Center, Seoul, South Korea (2015); Matadero, Madrid, Spain (2015); Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland (2015); Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, Switzerland (2014); Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, Poissy, France (2014); IMMA, Dublin, Ireland (2014); Le Grand Café, Saint-Nazaire, France (2014); and The Hepworth, Wakefield, UK (2013). His work was included in the 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, China (2012) and the 54th Venice Biennale, Italy (2011), where he was awarded the Silver Lion. He was awarded the Northern Art Prize in 2011, the DAIWA Foundation Art Prize in 2012, the Zurich Art Prize in 2013, the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize in 2014 and the Calder Art Prize in 2015.