Haroon Mirza included in 2021 Liverpool Biennial
1 June 2021
The 11th edition of the Liverpool Biennial, the UK's largest festival of contemporary visual art, opened virtually on 20 March 2021.Taking over unexpected and public spaces, historic sites and art galleries, the Biennial has been transforming the city through art for over two decades. The 11th edition, The Stomach and the Port, explores notions of the body and ways of connecting with the world and includes a newly commissioned work by Haroon Mirza, which premiered online on 21 May 2021. Mirza's presentation is comprised of two elements: a three-part video work, Pathology in Three Parts (2021), and a new choral performance The Three /VV’s (2021). You can watch the film here. A live performance will take place on 18 June 2021.
Mirza's The Three /\/\/\/’s (2021), explores social gatherings and ritual and is informed by the Fibonacci sequence and golden ratio – a mathematical phenomenon visible throughout nature and often applied in classical art. The performance asks the viewer to consider the sociological and physiological properties of the human voice, and explores Mirza's interest in sound waves and patterns of movement. The Three /\/\/\/’s begins with performers humming octaves of the frequency 111Hz, associated to physiological responses and ancient architecture, while the combination of collective sound and synchronised movement fosters a sense of ritual, gathering and ceremony. This ongoing performance featuring Liverpool based singers could not invite an audience while restrictions apply, but has been documented instead, with the resulting footage forming the central element of the new three-part video work.
Pathology in Three Parts (2021) follows Mirza’s “modular opera” structure, and features two scenes or “acts” from a previous iteration, Construction of an Act (2019), either side of this new performative element. As new acts join the repertoire, the narrative, based around a shaman who uses her voice to heal, unfolds exploring ideas of sound, medicine and mystical experience. Both works ask us to consider the sociological and physiological properties of the human voice, and explores Mirza’s interest in systems of belief, waveforms and patterns of movement.
Find out more about the Biennial here.