16 Jul 2019

Announcing the 2019 ACCA International Haroon Mirza

Haroon Mirza: The Construction of an Act

Featuring: Jessica Aszodi, Julie Cunningham, Sarah-Jane Lewis and James Rushford

Every year the ACCA International brings to Melbourne an artist at a pivotal point in their career – often presenting their work to Australian audiences for the first time.  In 2019, ACCA will present a survey of works and a new commission by acclaimed London-based artist Haroon Mirza.

Haroon Mirza’s extensive and varied art practice – encompassing sculptural assemblage, immersive installation and live performance – has its origins in music; in the rhythm, syncopation and sampling techniques informed by the artist’s early experience as a DJ.

Mirza likens his methodology to that of a composer, arranging the aesthetic and acoustic properties of materials and space into new audible, visual and haptic forms. His diverse artworks are linked through the medium and manipulation of electricity, and share an interest in modes of perception that go beyond the ocular-centrism inherent to the visual arts.

For The Construction of an Act, an exhibition presented in association with the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Mirza will consider ACCA’s vast architecture as a reverberation chamber in which a disparate body of works will come together to form a conceptual and sonic whole. Sculptural assemblages, indicative of the artist’s early work, engage in a complex dialogue with their use of everyday materials – from showerheads and buckets, to simple LED lighting strips, outmoded electronics, found footage and musical instruments – while more recent audio and moving-image works incorporate disciplines as wide-ranging as science, technology, politics and theology to explore the complexities of human experience, as well as to question moral and political issues of our time.

As a new commission especially for the exhibition, Mirza has constructed a residency studio within the gallery, as a space for local and international collaborators to undertake week-long residencies, culminating in a live performance within the exhibition, as well as sonic and performative residues.  This new commission illustrates the turn towards experimental, open-ended and collaborative working methods that have become a hallmark of the artists recent practice, blurring the boundaries of artistic authorship and transparently revealing the process of both art and exhibition making.

Born in 1977 in London, Haroon Mirza has exhibited widely across Europe, Asia, North and South America, following post-graduate studios both at Chelsea College of Art and Design and Goldsmiths College, London, and an earlier degree from Winchester School of Art.  In less than a decade he has accumulated some of the most prestigious prizes in the art world, including a Silver Lion for Most Promising Artist at the 2011 Venice Biennale, the Zurich Art Prize and Nam June Paik Centre Award in 2014, and the Calder Prize in 2015.

Haroon Mirza: The Construction of an Act, presented in association with the Melbourne International Arts Festival, curated by ACCA’s Senior Curator Annika Kristensen, 14 September – 17 November 2019. 

Live performance 6.30pm, 8 October, with collaborators including Australian composer-performer James Rushford; award-winning London-based dance artist and choreographer Julie Cunningham; and Australian-born, London-based soprano Jessica Aszodi.

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
111 Sturt Street, Southbank VIC 3006
Melbourne, Australia

Open: Tuesday – Friday 10am–5pm; Weekends 11am–5pm
Entry is always free
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For further media information contact:

Katrina Hall