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"Concentration 45: Helen Mirra"
2004-10-07 until 2005-01-02
Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas, TX, USA

The Dallas Museum of Art continues its Concentrations series, a project-based program focusing on international emerging talent, with Concentrations 45: Helen Mirra, Sudden creeping and violence, which features sculptures and a sound/video installation by the Chicago-based artist. Mirra's work, which is best known for exploring the relationship between the natural world and the people who inhabit it, brings the viewer to a conciliatory realization in Concentrations 45: Helen Mirra, Sudden creeping and violence.  The exhibition will feature a sound/video installation entitled Arrow (2003) and sculptures on the floor and wall, made out of reclaimed shipping pallets.

"Drawing on a minimalist vocabulary of repetition and reductive forms to bring in narrative, poetics and the personal, Mirra's sculptural work explores themes of labor, transportation, railroad and expansionism," said Suzanne Weaver, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art of the Dallas Museum of Art and curator of the exhibition.

As visitors view the video/sound installation Arrow, images of Constance Talmadge, as the violent Babylonian tomboy "The Mountain Girl" from D.W. Griffith's epic silent film Intolerance (1916), appear briefly out of complete darkness. The creation is made with the structure and timing of a thunderstorm: the flashes of image have the irregular lengths of lightning, and guitar and bass parallel rain and thunder. Visceral and unsettling, the work can be seen as mediation on violence both as natural phenomena as well as in its human manifestation.

Concentrations 45: Helen Mirra, Sudden and creeping violence is organized by the Dallas Museum of Art. Exhibition support is by the Donor Circle Membership Program through a leadership gift of Claire Dewar.

The Concentrations series began in 1981 as part of the Dallas Museum of Art's commitment to the work of living artists. The goal of Concentrations is to make the work of contemporary artists accessible to Dallas Museum of Art audiences, while preserving the excitement and challenge of the work. The Dallas Museum of Art will present two additional Concentration series through 2005: Concentrations 46: Daniel Roth, May 24, 2005-Aug. 21, 2005, and Concentrations 47: Jim Lambie, Oct. 6, 2005 through Jan. 8, 2006.

About the Artist

Helen Mirra is Senior Lecturer, Committees on Cinema and Media Studies and the Visual Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and currently teaches video production courses as well as a seminar on early video art.

Her studio practice encompasses a range of media, including film, video, sound, text and sculpture, which specifically address deforestation, expansionism, railroad building and militarization in recent work. Recent solo projects include Miscellaneous Papers, Meyer Riegger Galerie, Karlsruhe, Germany, Hewn Third, Peter Freeman, New York (2004); 65 Instants, MATRIX/Berkeley Art Museum, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London (2003); Declining Interval Lands, Whitney Museum, New York, Arrow, Donald Young Gallery, Chicago, and Nicola Sacco, Galleria Francesca Kaufmann, Milan (2002); Sky-Wreck, The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2001); and beforsten, Meyer Riegger Galerie, Karlsruhe, Germany (2000).

Recent group exhibitions include the 50th Venice Biennale, Paper Sculpture, Sculpture Center, New York, Land, Land, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2003); Zusammenhänge herstellen, Kunstverein, Hamburg, Germany, Sudden Glory, CCAC Institute, San Francisco (2002); untitled 654321, Kunsthallen Brandts Klædefabrik, Odense, Denmark, Making the Making, Apex Art, New York (2001); and the Age of Influence, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2000).

Mirra has collaborated on numbers music project with Ernst Karel including A Map of 48°N (2002) and Miller (2001). Her solo music recordings include: Field Geometry, (explain: 2000), Along, Below (Herkimer 1998), and Stowaway (Herkimer 1996). She has published two books of poetry: Alow (Gasser Grunert 1999), and Names & Poems (Herkimer 1999).

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