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Irina Birger

Irina Birger

area: Visual Art

32 Days Israeli Diary

© Irina Birger

Between Grey & Gold, Performance

© Irina Birger

Irina Birger: Dancing at the Wrong Party, installation view

Photo: Ilya Rabinovich

Ebola, installation view

© Irina Birger

Irina Birger: I-Sanctuary, installation

Photo: Petr Willert

Irina Birger: Drawing Diagnosis, performance

Photo: Konstantin Guz

Irina Birger: Practice of Silence, installation view

Photo: Petr Willert

Regrets from Drawing Diaries

© Irina Birger

The Book of Happiness and Sadness, video still

© Irina Birger

Totems, installation view

© Irina Birger

Key Facts




Visual Art



recommending institution

frei_raum Q21 exhibition space

time period

June 2019 - June 2019

Growing up in the Soviet Union Irina Birger was exposed to communist propaganda methods. Social Realism and the Stalinist Empire style have greatly influenced her artistic development. Their monumental designs, intended to inspire awe and wonder, are very similar to sacred formations.

She spent many years studying the visual strategies and formal principles of religions, cults and totalitarian regimes. As a result, central symmetry, patterns, slogans and monumental approaches often appear in her work. Birger’s visual language is prompted by structures found in science, mythology, astrology, pop-culture, news articles, everyday objects and personal items. She selects, isolates, arranges these elements and then reconnects them. The result of each project is a mini universe with its own system.'

Drawing is Birger’s primary medium. She experiments with it as a site-specific part of an installation, in performances, as an element in a public space and as a moving image.

Birger exhibited and participated in screenings a.o. in Israel Museum (IL), Tel Aviv Museum (IL), Haifa Museum of Art (IL), Mediamatic (NL), W139 (NL), Apexart (US), Preview Berlin (DE), the Israeli Centre for Digital Art (IL), Chinese European Art Centre (CN), Today Art Museum (CN), Redtory (CN), Drawing Centre Diepenheim (NL), Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (NL), Kabinet T (CZ), Nieuw Dakota (NL), Amsterdam Drawing (NL), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (NL) and Viborg Kunsthal (DK).

She was an artist in residency at a.o. Chinese European Art Centre (CN), the Israeli Centre for Digital Art (IL), MeetFactory (CZ) and Kunstlerhaus Bethanien (DE).

Her works are part of many private and public collections; Haaretz LTD (IL), Israel Museum (IL), C-Collection (Lichtenstein), EYE Collection (NL) and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (NL).

Photo: Marcel van der Vlugt

Project info

During her residency at Q21 Irina Birger would like to work on a new chapter in the "Drawing Diaries" project. "Drawing Diaries" is an ongoing project that she has been working on since 2008, and which contains by now more than 500 drawings. This longterm project raises questions on womanhood such as self-realization, relationships, and human interdependency. The new chapter will deal with Vienna as her temporary base.
Besides that, Irina would like to collect visual materials and make a research in the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna.

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