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green holotrope / Solo show by Hendl Helen Mirra / Peter Freeman, Inc. New York

green holotrope

Solo show by Hendl Helen Mirra

Peter Freeman, Inc. New York

September 9 – October 28, 2023

Video by L.A. Art Documents /


For green holotrope, Hendl Helen Mirra shares a selection of new and revised works. Explicit in the project is a possible answer to the existential question of how to meet things. Objects, sounds, and methods fold and realign; prior works get edited, put into new arrangements, or remade with a method of subtraction that sometimes looks like addition. Here, a compelling case is made that less is not more, nor is it less. When works and thoughts return, it is in the visible cycles of their repetition, and the space generated between occurrences, where we might find patterns for holding future and past equally within the present.

For example, a new series of canvases revise a number of earlier signature line works. Resetting the delicate and precarious banding of the prior works onto linen rectangles condenses the initial experiences for more compact and pliable consideration. The 2005 sound piece Green break, with its three methods of amplifying the breath (whistling, bass harmonica, and mouth harp) rearranged, is not unlike a bird adapting its song for a changing ecological niche.

Four segments from Sky-wreck, unseen in the United States since their initial presentation at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago in 2001, are indigo-dyed cotton scale model pieces of the sky, if the sky was a geodesic dome. Twenty-two years ago the sculpture in its larger iteration was interpreted as an abstractly elegiac gesture. Reappearing today, the fractured expanses of soft geometry seem to act as a harbinger of our biosphere’s collapse that more of us can hear.

For Hendl Helen Mirra, who wrote a manifesto of sorts in 2019 to address environmental concerns relative to received artmaking and exhibition practices, revisiting and remaking past works is an obvious move. Attending to things as artifacts of change keeps decisions and methods close at hand. This looking again and anew and again at the works assembled for green holotrope reveals an effortless focus on the primacy of gravity and the intrinsic qualities of unrefined materials, relative scales, and simple structures. The objects philosophically bounce and physically echo, vibrate, turn, weather, and open as material integrity allows. The foreground and background flip and flap. Because really, what is the difference between the hole in a donut and the hole in a bagel?

Hendl Helen Mirra has been represented by Peter Freeman, Inc. since 2004. She lives in West Marin, Northern California. Her work Harmless mistake is currently on view in Spora, at the Swiss Institute, New York.


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