Greece and NYC
May 3 - 31, 2018
Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah
I believe in the importance of the art language in an era where hard-won rights are being eroded, where the fear of the “other” has prompted the advent of censorship, bans and hate speech. Art depends on our ability to perceive things beyond boundaries. In that way, it becomes a device for some kind of perpetual fluidity, where information can be read in different ways, raising new questions and allowing unexpected discoveries.
I grew up in Greece, a country on the line between the perceived East and West, where the distant past (antiquity,) present and desired future coexist; so seeing things through a prism of constant symbiosis became a norm early on. As an immigrant artist living and working in the United States, I find myself at times suspended and lost in translation in the dichotomy that is created by opposing values. I find humble, anti-monumental gestures and giving value to the minor and otherwise neglected of immense importance.
In my practice I create constellations of traces that ask for close examination. Marks of performative actions and traces of leftovers form a distinct understanding of what spatial identity or marking of time could be. I believe in art that demands awareness of space and time, where the personal touches the common, where noise shifts recognizability and silent moments take off. In that manner I am interested in the way that we navigate and perceive our environments; in the language of objects that surround our everyday reality; in the dialogues and shifting relationships of axes such as time, physical space, form and utility; sculpture and painting. I look at the point where sculpture touches painterly nuances as an unfolding sketchbook of our everyday reality in physical space. For me, the concept, the materials, along with the color that will activate the works and their surroundings are of equal importance. In that way the work engages with its surroundings in a cohesive way, as a painting engages with its canvas, or a drawing with its paper. I use basic sculptural materials like clay, wood, plaster, found and custom-made objects juxtaposed with everyday ephemera like paper, dust, and metal rods. I am constantly challenging the potential of my materials in order to create a variation of frequencies and movement within physical and mental space. I see my works as “moments in time”, and I am always looking for the things that we discover as our eyes adjust to the subversion of expectations.
Irini Miga (b. in Larissa, Greece) lives and works in New York. She has studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts, London’s Central Saint Martins College, and received her MFA from Columbia University, New York on a Fulbright grant. Miga has been awarded residencies in several organizations including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Program; The Drawing Center’s Open Sessions program, The Watermill Center; and the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg, amongst others. Her work has been exhibited internationally. Recent shows include: Tomorrow’s Dream, at Neuer Essener Kunstverein, in Essen, Germany; Selections by Larry Ossei-Mensah at Elizabeth Dee Gallery, in New York; Scraggly Beard Grandpa, at Capsule Shanghai, in Shanghai; Good Weather Presents: The Best is the Least We Can Do, at Atlanta Contemporary, in Atlanta; Marginalia, at The Drawing Center in New York; and The Equilibrists, organized by the New Museum in New York, the DESTE Foundation in Athens and shown in the Benaki Museum in Athens, amongst others. Her work has been recently mentioned at Artforum, FlashArt, Time Out New York, Ocula, Blouin ArtInfo, and Huffington Post.