At his new exhibition at Lisson Gallery, Haroon Mizra's immersive installations investigate the relationship between sound, space and light.
If we look to our right when walking into the gallery, we can see blue and green LEDs and cable positioned close to the floor. They shift our perception of the space, although their positioning adds subtlety. One might easily walk the piece past without noticing it, especially as we can already hear and see what lies in the main room.
Entitled Sitting in a Chamber, vinyl records and hand made records spin round on turntables. Theremins and lightbulbs affect the sound coming out speakers and a single-channel video plays on the opposing wall. We can hear segments of Sitting In A Room by Alvin Lucier, which Mizra has edited and re-orded for this exhibition. Lucier's piece was a fascinating insight into understanding shape through sound, and it gives the viewer a reference point when experiencing Mizra's work. The way space and architecture affects sound is key.
This is best exemplified in the following room, a reverberation chamber that houses the next piece, Pavillion for Optimisation. The walls are white and almost bare, apart from some LED lighting that goes on and off, plunging us into darkness. As the lights begin to go out, we can hear a loud noise, that bears resemblance to a sudden burst of rain onto a metal roof. As the light comes on, the noise cuts out.
In the final room, which is padded so as to decrease reverberation, a circle of speakers facing inwards are connected to a "UFO circuit". The lights on the "UFO" turn on and off, each light representating a different speaker, which emits sound when the respective light is on. The frequencies created by Adam, Eve, others and a UFO seem somewhat disorientating, and serve as a powerful ending to an immersive, sensory experience.
Haroon Mirza, /o/o/o/o/ will be showing at Lisson Gallery, 52-54 Bell Street until 29 June 2013.