Mira Calix is an award-winning artist and composer based in the United Kingdom. Music and sound, which she considers a sculptural material, are at the centre of her practice. Her work explores the manipulation of the material into visible, physical forms through multi-disciplinary installations, sculpture, video and performance works. Calix’s practice is deliberately disjunctive, allowing research, site, and subject to influence a fluid choice of materials and mediums.
Calix has been commissioned by, and exhibited and performed works in many leading cultural institutions, festivals and ensembles internationally, most recently the Hayward Gallery, Serpentine Galleries, the 1st Coventry Biennial, The Royal Shakespeare Company, UK in China 2015 cultural exchange program, Carriageworks, MONA, Performa, the Barbican, Art Basel, Lincoln Center, Manchester International festival and the London Olympics among others.
Calix joined the London Sinfonietta as part of the Hayward Gallery’s major Andreas Gursky retrospective, for the second in a series of four world premiere commissions that marked their 50th anniversary season. Her work was a response to Gursky’s iconic photograph tilted Review or Rückblick (2015), which depicts Germany’s most recent chancellors – Gerhard Schröder, Helmut Schmidt, Angela Merkel and Helmut Kohl – in front of a painting by Barnett Newman. The title, they talk about art, we talk about money refers to a quote by Oscar Wilde: “When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss Art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss Money” and aptly mirrors the scene in the photograph, as the music captures the rhythm, colour and complexity of his work.
In 2016 Calix opened the Moving Museum 35, a temporary soundart mixed-media installation situated on a public bus in China. Her project was created in collaboration with students based at Nanjing University Of the Arts, and was supported by the British Council, PRS Foundation and JCDecaux, part of the UK in China 2015 cultural exchange program. The temporary museum is open to the public daily, in the city of Nanjing, until April 2016.
Inside There Falls, a mixed media installation at Carriageworks in Australia, premiered in 2015 as part of the Sydney Festival. The artwork was a multi-sensory large scale installation of paper, sound and movement. A blanched new landscape that seamlessly blended technological innovation and organic materials, by exploring the nature of storytelling. Calix invited acclaimed choreographer Raphael Bonachela to participate in the work which incorporated durational performances by members of the Sydney Dance Company.
Calix has been the recipient of several awards; in 2009 she won a British Composer Award for her composition; My Secret Heart. The installation, commissioned by Streetwise Opera, and featuring the voices of a 100 strong choir, toured extensively internationally and was also the recipient of a Royal Philharmonic Society Award as well as finalist for The National Lottery Arts Award 2010. Chorus, a collaborative work with United Visual Artists received an Award of Distinction in the Interactive Category at Prix Ars Electronica 2010. Her strong relationship with UVA continued with Momentum, an installation for the Barbican Curve Gallery in London, which opened in February 2014 and a commission for Opéra National de Paris in 2015. Her score for the film opera ‘Fables’ a collaboration with visual artists Flat-E was nominated for a British Composer Award in 2011.