Mire Lee

Mire Lee

Artist Mire Lee answers our questionnaire. Laughing out loud while reading Thomas Bernhard.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am making mechanical sculptures with industrial pumps and motors. I am also making curtains, containers, wearable objects, and furniture-like structures. Currently, I am working on a two persons exhibition with HR Giger for Schinkel Pavillon.

Who or what has influenced you in your work?
I am influenced the most by first-hand experiences of people’s different ways of navigating life. I first get to know someone, and it takes some time to understand why they make certain choices or why they think and do things in certain ways. Before this moment of epiphany, there are always misconceptions I carry with me. The moment this breaks and rearranges itself my way of thinking and doing things changes, too. Or I could say that this feeling of epiphany influences me the most.

What artwork do you return to again and again?
All the works of Louise Bourgeois and ›Endless House‹ by Frederick Kiesler. With Bourgeois’ works and Kiesler’s ›Endless House‹, I am deeply moved by the feeling of being left speechless, or even a bit helpless. It’s almost like the works are telling me to be silent.

What would you do if you weren’t an artist?
This is a game I play all the time with other artists, and I always throw out too many things without making a definite choice. I honestly don’t think I know what else I can do, perhaps work in construction.

What are you reading at the moment?
I’ve been heavily addicted to reading Thomas Bernhard since last year. All his books feel like the same story, so when I finish one book, I can just continue reading a new one. What I love about Bernhard’s work is that, at times, it can make you burst into laughter. It feels so weird and intimate when you laugh out loud while reading a novel. It’s a very different type of laughter that somehow always reveals the deepest abyss of myself. The other quality I really love in his work is his extreme, non-ironic use of negativity. While his words are full of hatred and a constant spasm between the sadistic and the masochistic, by overusing negativity, he manages to show affection, vulnerability, sentimentality, and a striking warmth that just instantly breaks my heart. I am currently reading ›Concrete‹.

What should art today be able to do, in your opinion?
I have no answer to this one.

What aspect of the pre-pandemic world do you grieve—and what things do you not miss at all?
I think I miss any kind of large, collective group situation that temporarily allows me to disappear or be nobody. I also miss having frequent and frenzy anticipations to whatever near future activities. I don’t miss our general lack of empathy and appreciation of each other’s presence. I also don’t miss having to have fears of missing out on things.

If you had to sum up your work in one word, what would it be?
I have no answer to this one.

Do you have a daily ritual?
I spend half an hour to an hour everyday texting with the same friend in Korea. It really helps me exist and I feel very weird if I forget to do it a day or two.

What art or culture-related events do you look forward to in the near future?
I’m visiting the HR Giger Museum in Gruyères soon which I’m very excited about.

HR Giger & Mire Lee
18 SEP 2021—2 JAN 2022
Opening 17 SEP, 6pm