Helen Mirra

Galerie Nordenhake | Stockholm

In her installation Quarry (all works 2007), Helen Mirra uses her laconic touch to map a phenomenal expedition across time. Her means are modest: Handsome chunks of breccia, amphibolite, and serpentine rocks, collected above the Arctic Circle, nest on the artist’s own folded clothing. Dotting the gallery floor, like a sparse archipelago, the stones—mottled with living moss and lichens—seemed like an extemporized display of some naturalist’s homemade collection. Regarding past work such as the floor sculpture Sky-Wreck, 2001, critics have mentioned that Mirra owes a debt to Minimalism; perhaps, but this installation, with its air of inscrutability, is nowhere near as visually conspicuous or imposing as that suggestion implies. Instead, it might be helpful to think of Mirra as rebridging the dialectic between chaos and order that sustained Robert Smithson’s notion of “site” and “non-site.”

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