Fidelma O’Riordan reflects: Haroon Mirza

In a series of blog posts, Fidelma O’Riordan – Artswork Creative Apprentice at John Hansard Gallery – will be sharing her thoughts and reflections on various online exhibitions that have taken place as part of the Gallery’s lockdown programme. 

Today, in her first piece, Fidelma shares her thoughts on Haroon Mirza’s online video exhibition entitled /\/\/\/\ /\/\/\/\, shown by John Hansard Gallery as part of Southampton Science and Engineering Festival Goes Digital 2020. You can see the exhibition here until Saturday 25 July.

Haroon Mirza
by Fidelma O’Riordan

I am really interested to know how Haroon Mirza’s film was shown at the physical exhibition, because I can only assume that it would be a completely different experience, as I watched it in the comfort of my own home, with my own environment, and that wouldn’t be the same as the environment that was curated at the exhibition. I enjoyed this film, especially noticing what part of the screen I focused on as the film went on and kept changing. Sometimes I would focus on one screen, and then go between two screens, and sometimes even focus on all four, or none at all because of the sensory overload. At the busiest part of the film, my computer hard drive made a lot of noise, which kind of added to it!! When I was intrigued by a clip, and it eventually stopped playing, I would feel quite sad and missed its presence, but was excited to see what was next and how it connected to the other videos. My favourite part was the end, only because of the clear connection to all four clips, but I especially liked the video of the cars going around the Arc de Triomphe, and the Ant Death Spiral. While these looked similar, and a roundabout without any road markings seems dangerous, it reminded me of when I went to Paris and went to a museum, and outside it was a similar roundabout, but because there are multiple roundabouts like this in the city, and there is no safest time to cross any of them, it was the safest I ever felt going across a busy road, because when you feel anxious about crossing every road, and then you come across one like that, you realise you have nothing to worry about in your everyday life. I have this really wonderful photograph of a road sign for this roundabout.

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