In this edition of our “We Are Berlin” series we met with the Californian artist Mira O’Brien for an interview. After studying in the USA Mira wanted to visit Berlin for a short summer trip but she ended up falling in love with the city and has been here for the last 5 years. We visited her exhibition “The Spoils of Transparency” to talk about other projects and her favorite places in Berlin.
In her exhibition Mira displays different perspectives on glass and how it affects meaning. In her exhibition she uses minimal changes to show how when the glass moves into the foreground it catches our attention. The principal work is a kind of mountain range made from bits of broken glass. At a glance the object appears to be strong but in fact it’s slowly collapsing in on itself under its own weight. As it collapses it creates light reflections on the walls and produces a smell that resembles melting glaciers. This is accompanied by an audio clip which was recorded while smashing and stacking the glass. Visitors are able to hear the process which preceded the finished work.
Alongside her installation work she also paints and draws as part of “The Berlin Drawing Room” platform. In her workshops she wants sharpen her student’s senses so they can develop a better sense for detail in their work – size and perspective for example. She also offers these courses outdoors because she is particularly fond of the places in Berlin where people can let themselves go.
Mira’s studio is in one of the most creative places on earth, Kreuzberg. It’s here that she prepares for international exhibitions in USA and Spain for example. She has seen how Berlin is changing on her tours through the city. One of these changes is street food in Berlin. For around a year and a half small businesses have been turning their attention to alternatives to typical fast food such as döner kebabs and currywurst. When visiting the Bite Club or Markthalle 9 she can fend off homesickness with excellent authentic food from her home, California, which is famous for its thriving street food scene.
Check out our video with Mira if you want to find out more. Visit her website for more information.