Helen Mirra 
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Helen Mirra,

Stockholm, August 20th - September 26th, 2015
Image No. 1 of Helen Mirra

Installation view

 
Since 2010 Helen Mirra has been engaged in an ongoing project in which daylong walks generate artworks and vice versa. These walkings correspond with an overlapping cycle of exhibitions that has perpetuated her ongoing project. While this has largely meant materializing work on foot and out-of-doors, for her current works, each titled Waulked Triangle, Mirra weaves with a continuous strand on a triangle loom, with the hypotenuse set at 180, 215, or 240 cm. In this unusual and primitive method, the standing weaver moves from one edge to the other, alternately forming both the warp and the weft. Although these new pieces do not overtly involve walking (the “waulking” of the titles is a term for the traditional hand-wrought process of finishing a weaving so that the fibers bind together, while conserving the particularities of the weave), that activity remains at the root of all of her work; inasmuch as it is a way of thinking and seeing, it cultivates a somatic relationship with the world.

With a characteristic economy of means, Mirra transforms materials without unmooring them from their origins. For each weaving she uses wool from two black sheep – changing from one to the other halfway through. Three blacks appear - two from the individual sheep, one of their admixture. These blacks can barely be visibly differentiated one from another but for the delimiting colored strand, dyed from foraged mushrooms, drawn through each work. Each triangle is doubled over a cedar support, or folded into an even smaller floor sculpture, and the simultaneity of the part and the whole is further substantiated. Variations within and among the works – in the blacks and the colored strands, and in the irregularities of the triangles – reveal themselves gradually.

Interrupting the weavings, the Walking Commas consist of terse field notes paired with notational black and white photographs which do not document the landscape moved through, but rather dispassionately mark time, and bring to the fore notions of non-redundant repetition, change, and chance, which underlie the cyclic nature of the overall project.

Helen Mirra was born in Rochester, New York in 1970 and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A fifteen year survey (1996-2010) of her work was presented at Culturgest in Lisbon, Portugal in 2014. Recent solo exhibitions include Hourly Directional at Radcliffe Center for Advanced Study and with Ernst Karel at the MIT List Visual Arts Center (both Cambridge MA); and gehend (Field Recordings 1-3), which was held at three venues: Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, and Bonner Kunstverein. Other solo institutional exhibitions include The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago and the Berkeley Art Museum. This year she participated Havana Biennial with a month-long walking project there. She has also participated in the 50th Venice Biennial (2003) and the 30th Sao Paulo Biennial (2012). Recent publications are the book gehend (argobooks, 2013), the three-ring binder Edge Habitat Materials (Whitewalls, 2014), the CD Maps of Parallels 41 N and 49 N with Ernst Karel (Shhpuma, 2014), and the LP Kwangsi-Quail with Fred Frith (Shhpuma, 2015). Mirra has been awarded various fellowships and residencies, including the DAAD in Berlin, OCA in Oslo, and IASPIS in Stockholm.

 svensk
  
Image No. 2 of Helen Mirra

Folded waulked triangle, 2015, Undyed wool from two black sheep, strand of wool dyed with phaeolus schweinitzii, 36 x 41 x 4 cm

 
Image No. 3 of Helen Mirra

Folded waulked triangle, 2015, Undyed wool from two black sheep, strand of wool dyed with boletopsis sp., 46 x 50 x 4 cm

 
Image No. 4 of Helen Mirra

Folded waulked triangle, 2015, Undyed wool from two black sheep, strand of wool dyed with inotus hispidus, 40 x 42 x 3 cm

 
Image No. 5 of Helen Mirra

Folded waulked triangle, 2015, Undyed wool from two black sheep, strand of wool dyed with tapinella atrotomentosus, 47 x 50 x 3 cm

 
Image No. 6 of Helen Mirra

Folded waulked triangle, 2015, Undyed wool from two black sheep, strand of wool dyed with cortinarius semisanguineus, 46 x 56 x 4 cm

 
Image No. 7 of Helen Mirra

Walking commas, 27 June, Cape Breton, 2014, Black and white photographs and text in seven framed parts, 7 parts, each 28 x 43 cm

 
Image No. 8 of Helen Mirra

Installation view

 
Image No. 9 of Helen Mirra

Walking comma, 08 October, Bärental, 2013, Black and white photograph and text, framed, 28 x 43 cm

 
Image No. 10 of Helen Mirra

Walking comma, 23 May, Ecuador, 2014, Black and white photograph and text, framed, 28 x 43 cm

 
Image No. 11 of Helen Mirra

Walking comma, 02 October, Cortina, 2013, Black and white photograph and text, framed, 28 x 43 cm

 
Image No. 12 of Helen Mirra

Waulked Triangle, 2015, Undyed wool from two black sheep, strand of wool dyed with cortinarius semisanguineus, cork, cedar, 100 x 111 cm

 
Image No. 13 of Helen Mirra

Waulked Triangle, detail

 
Image No. 14 of Helen Mirra

Installation view

 
Image No. 15 of Helen Mirra

Waulked Triangle, 2014, Undyed wool from two black sheep, a strand of wool dyed with Inonotus hispidus, cork, cedar, 74 x 88 cm, detail

 
Image No. 16 of Helen Mirra

Installation view

 
Image No. 17 of Helen Mirra

Waulked Triangle, 2015, Undyed wool from two black sheep, strand of wool dyed with hydnellum caeruleum, cork, cedar, 81 x 91 cm

 
Image No. 18 of Helen Mirra

Waulked Triangle, detail

 
Image No. 19 of Helen Mirra

Waulked Triangle, 2015, Undyed wool from two black sheep, strand of wool dyed with hydnellum caeruleum, cork, cedar, 74 x 86 cm

 
Image No. 20 of Helen Mirra

Waulked Triangle, 2015, Undyed wool from two black sheep, strand of wool dyed with hydnellum caeruleum, cork, cedar, 77 x 87 cm





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