120 x 81 x 7 cm
Plastic, solar cells, wire, LED, dolls house tape
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Purchase made possible by Club Fonds Konkret
Solar Cell Circuit 3
Electricity, sound, and light are three key components in the works of Haroon Mirza (born 1977 in London, UK). In his atmospherically charged installations, wall works, videos, and performances, he integrates these immaterial phenomena with a tangible, familiar world of objects consisting of pieces of furniture and other everyday items. These works often include references to the history of art and music – for example, to Minimalism, Kinetic Art of the 1960s, or the works of Edgar Varèse and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
In his works, Mirza acts as a kind of composer and director. He uses the specific architecture of the exhibition space as a stage for sounds, rhythms, light, and materials, as in a techno opera. This conceptual integration of the surrounding space is another feature of his body of work. The elements he works with are all coordinated; they interfere with, and balance each other. For example, the artist attaches photovoltaic cells to found objects – such as an old window frame, a mirror, or a palette – and connects these with an LED strip. Depending on the light situation in the room, the solar cells make the LEDs shine brightly or weakly, sometimes even changing color. “Solar Cell Circuit 3” is an example of this and was developed as part of a series of works Mirza created for his exhibition at the Museum Haus Konstruktiv in 2014. This exhibition was part of the “Zurich Art Prize,” which was awarded to him by the Museum Haus Konstruktiv and the Zurich Insurance Group.
Mirza is masterful at integrating ironic commentaries on the art world in his works, which are compositions that play with a balance between modern technology and ready-mades, objects and phenomena, and stability and elusiveness. We can therefore imagine that his “Solar Cell Circuits” also refer to the growing number of art prizes powering the circulation of values (like light powers the photovoltaic cells), “feeding” him (and artists in general) more or less generously. Although – or perhaps because – Mirza is now well established and is often invited to exhibit his works in important museums, he maintains a critical distance to the mechanics and language of the art market. This is illustrated by his video “Mera Naam Hai,” in which a fake interview with the artist playfully reveals what talking about art is sometimes: hot air and white noise.