12 Rich Estate, Crimscott Street London SE1 5TE
A major new commission by internationally renowned, London-based artist Aleksandra Mir. The project Drawing Room responds to the exploding energy of the fast-developing London skyline and explores drawing as a collective activity.
Taking over the gallery as a production space for the first two weeks of the exhibition, Mir and her team of ten assistants create a live drawing installation based on the architecture of London, using only ‘Sharpie’ marker pens. Working directly onto a specialist canvas backdrop, commonly used in theatre, the resulting mural will be 4 metres high and will extend to over 24 metres in length. After completion, the resulting installation will remain on exhibition for an additional six weeks.
Mir says: ‘It is a collective live drawing extravaganza resulting in one mural sized work, choreographed by me and performed together with a group of assistants who will be working with me in the gallery space in full public view. My objectives are to push drawing beyond the confines of the small-scale, manageable sheet of paper towards a larger unruly reality; at once a stage set, a choreography and a performative act. It will blend many art forms into one continuous process and activity where a lot is determined beforehand, but as much is left to the energies and personalities of the people who will occupy the space and the daily goings on there.’
Working with her team Mir seeks to foster an ethos of shared achievement while creating an analogy to the collective life of the city. The process of collaboration and the use of atypical materials – in this case the ‘Sharpie’ marker pen – are similarly integral to the artist’s working practice. Mir has drawn with the ‘Sharpie’ pen on a large scale for many years, transforming this popular everyday marker pen into a tool for experimentation. She manages to achieve complex patterns and painterly effects with the fading marker, creating works that are imbued with intense energy and remain a record of the physical labour required to make them.
About the Artist
Aleksandra Mir lives in London. Recent solo exhibitions and projects include The Space Age, M – Museum, Leuven; Discoteca, Magazzino, Rome; Visionaries of St. Pauli, Betongalerie, Hamburg (2013); Justice, Triple A, Los Angeles (2012); The Seduction of Galileo Galilei, Mercer Union, Toronto and Whitney Museum, New York (2011); Triumph, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2009); Switzerland and Other Islands, Kunsthaus, Zurich (2006). Group exhibitions include Energy and Process, Tate Modern, London (2013); 9 Bienal du Mercosul, Porto Alegre (2013); Monuments, Lismore Castle (2013); Pursuit of Perfection, South London Gallery (2012); ArtandPress, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2012); Once Upon a Time, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2011); Plus Ultra, MACRO Testaccio, Rome (2010); 53 Venice Biennale (2009).