Alexandra Mir

The Big Umbrella

The Big Umbrella, twice the radius of the biggest men’s umbrella on the market, was designed to shield up to 16 people from the rain. It was a cheerful and simply idyllic structure, but did 16 people want to crowd together to avoid getting wet? Does bad weather affect people differently in different parts of the world? To find out, I took my big umbrella on the road between 2003-2004, visiting Paris, London, Dresden, Copenhagen, New York and Martinique.

Traveling the world with a familiar object of uncanny proportions can have some unexpected effects. While The Big Umbrella proved useful as a tool for plucking down stray balls from trees, its unwieldy size on busy streets turned altruistic motives into harassment. Providing a shelter, it brought some strangers momentarily together, while alienating others, and in its most salient moments, simply amplified the solitude of the bearer.

You can download a PDF version of the catalogue HERE (32,2Mo).

click here for images from Paris  click here for images from London
click here for images from Dresden  click here for images from Copenhagen
click here for images from New York click here for images from Martinique

texts on The Big Umbrella:

De Dominicis, Serena, Aleksandra Mir. Critica di un occidente, Arte e Critica, #58, Roma, March 2009.
Lenander, Johanna, The Mir's Orbit Around The Earth, Bon Magazine, Stockholm, #6, Winter 2005/06.
Baloise Art Prize at Art 35 Basel, Press Release, The Baloise Group, Basel, June 2004.

Cochois, Edwige, The Big Umbrella, assistant record, Paris, 2004.
Jamaldin, Sharifa, Aleksandra Mir, ReadBABY SurfBABY, Amsterdam, 2004.
Verhagen, Marcus, State of Play, Art Monthly, London, March 2004.

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Subpages (1): Kira Kim