Helen Mirra presently maintains a rhythm of weaving in a sustained relation to walking. Among the various forms in which she operates, there is always a locatable source material with which decisions are made. Her loyalty is to both the metrical and the ecological.
Solo exhibitions include those at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, the Berkeley Art Museum, Kunst-Werke Berlin, and Haus Konstruktiv Zurich, and she participated in the 50th Venice Biennial, the 30th Sao Paulo Bienal, and the 12th Havana Bienal. Public projects include Farbenweg, indirekter, architecturally embedded among the houses of the Universalmuseum Joanneum in Graz, Austria, Instance the Determination at the University of Chicago, and a GSA Art-in-Architecture project at the Minnesota-Canada border. A fifteen year survey (1996-2010) of her work was presented at Culturgest in Lisbon Portugal in 2014.
Recent publications are the book gehend (Argobooks, 2013), the three-ring binder Edge Habitat Materials (Whitewalls, 2014), the CD Maps of Parallels 41 N and 49 N with Ernst Karel (Shhpuma, 2014), and the LP Kwangsi-Quail with Fred Frith (Shhpuma, 2015).
Mirra has received awards from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, the Driehaus Foundation, and Artadia, and has been a guest of the DAAD Kunstlerprogramm in Berlin, the Laurenz Haus in Basel, IASPIS in Stockholm, and OCA in Oslo, a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and Civitella Ranieri, and artist-in-residence with the Consortium of the Arts at the University of California at Berkeley, the Center for Book Arts at Mills College, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Until 2013 she was Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University and taught courses in expanded sculpture and environmental art practices, and previously was Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago in Visual Art and Cinema & Media Studies.
Intermittently she has been making a succession of scheduled city walks that anybody is invited to join, under the dharma-inflected moniker Half-smiler. These walks are considered as vernacular activity, albeit self-conscious, rather than as performance, and attend to the interrelation of the everyday, somatics, and friendliness.
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