Helen Mirra. Gletscherbachfloß (Glacial-river-raft)
InMirra's artworks various media convene: textile, language, film and sound have participated in a conceptual meeting with classical genres such as sculpture, painting and drawing. Mirra has developed a reduced language of images and objects, accompanied by an abstract linking to our/her surroundings. She also creates references to a reality which lies outside of the work, reconstructing movement through time and space.
Meyer Riegger is pleased to announce a new exhibition of the American artist Helen Mirra in the gallery space in Karlsruhe. Gletscherbachfloß (Glacial-river-raft) is a summary of works from the past twenty-three years by Helen Mirra that relate to water. Not only as a fluid or frozen element but also as a socio-poetic statement.
Map of 1°S 127°W
An abstract map colored in blue ink refers to a geographical area in the Pacific Ocean. Using a manual typewriter, verses of a poem are transferred onto pieces of a blue dyed cotton banding that is adapted to the paper. While reading aloud the poem (Sounding Rounderd, Bounderd Soundful, Sounderd Levelled) the rhythm and sound of water and waves displace the reader into that geographical area. The work can be seen as an abstract painting, and more so, one that stands in the tradition of marine paintings.
Made from corduroy and mimicking floorboards, "Portable Deck" (1999) transformes a corner of a room into the corner of the hull of a tilting ship.
- installation views
ink on cotton
16mm x 90cm
As measurements of time and being, the recent woven pieces capture in yarn the somatic activities of standing, extending arms, articulating hands, breathing, and sensing. They are however not to be reduced to the time at the loom. Considering Helen Mirra‘s holistic approach to art-making, and in particular the aspect that since 2006 she has been engaged in an ongoing project in which daylong walks generate artworks and vice versa, they can be understood with Lawrence Rinder, as „in a way, abstracted artifacts“ of the practice of walking.
(excerpt from press release for Helen Mirras' show »ĉielarka aktivec’« at Nordenhake, Berlin, 2020. Text by: Claudia Sorhage)
"I love weather. I live in the weather. I don't try to change it - and of course it changes. I don't try to get away from it. I pay attention to it. I respect it.
One could also say, I am weather. That sounds more strange, but it resolves the need to explain the relationship.
I don't think the works demand attention simply by their presence. They can be attended to, or they can be ignored.
Somebody who is shouting demands attention, and it is difficult to ignore them,
especially if they are nearby. Somebody who is speaking at a normal volume,
you can either listen to them, or not. This is my interest anyway - to not-demand."
(Mirra, Helen. in: „This is my interest anyway - to not-demand.", interview with Zoë Dankert, Metropolis M, September 8, 2017.)
Ed. of 3
ed. of 500
18 x 12 x 0,5cm
Film 81° N
The film stock is 360 feet long and takes 11 minutes to circle the globe. Following the 81° northern parallel, located in the Arctic zone, the film is constructed of watercolor washes of blue, light blue, brown and white, mapping water, ice, and tundra.
The hand-coloured 16mm film is conceptually directly connected to the still maps of two other latitude lines included here. These are made of cotton banding, 16mm high and 360 inches in length, explicilty in relation to cinema and a full circle. This material was also in the past frequently used by the artist as a support for the typing of text. 87°S, tracing the ice of Antarctica, is wholly white. 59°S is coded for water and is wholly blue, as it does not touch land.