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April 1, 2015

Talk to: Artist Irina Birger


Behind every door in our Broedplaats (creative workspace) are many curious stories and it’s time to share them with you. Let us introduce an Artist with a flair for languages. Irina Birger born in Moscow, can speak 5 languages to be precise. Besides that, she is absorbed in the world of contemporary art. Irina works mostly with drawing which she often combines with other media for her installations and public art projects.

dancing at the wrong party_irina birger

Irina came to Holland 12 years ago to complete her master in Fine Arts at the Sandberg Institute. She was convinced to stay in Amsterdam believing it is a good place for art. However, for her inspiration she goes abroad, travelling to Prague, Beijing, Paris, Miami and Tel Aviv and then back to her studio with us. Irina is constantly drawing in one of her sketchbooks, which she calls “I don’t Masturbate I draw”. Her visual diaries. These drawings emerge in very detailed patterns and motives, which she uses in installations at exhibitions.


Changes are good!
Switching from studio to studio in the Broedplaats, she has seen it all, from the renovation of the building and the beginning of Volkshotel. The noises from construction work sometimes made it difficult for the Artist to work, Irina: “But when I put on my headphones, it helped me to disconnect from reality”. Now she enjoys the busyness of the building, the suitcases in the lobby and the variety of people who come. Irina: “It’s the new centre of Amsterdam East, a meeting place for me and my friends”. She takes full advantage of the whole building from drinks in the basement to weekly use of the sauna on the 8th floor.

In her studio, Irina created her first public art piece in the Netherlands – a pilot project of Pro Rail (responsible for the Dutch railway system). She designed three panels in a shelter made of glass printed with ceramic ink. Irina explains: “This kind of material will last for years, without damage from the sun or rain”. For the project “Distributed/Centralized/Decentralized” Irina was inspired by computer networks and astronomy, the result is an artwork about travelling and connections.  She plays with abstract figures which have a strong appearance from far away, but from close-up very small details can be seen.

The combination of handmade aquarelles, drawings and the finishing touch of the computer makes every panel unique but also unifying. Irina: ‘The combination of a hand made versus digital, stresses the beauty of imperfection of a human touch”. If you want to see her work in the great wide open, you need to hop on the train to Ede-Centrum.

prorail irina birger

Irina’s works are part of many private and public collections. She has exhibited and participated in screenings all over the world in the Israel Museum, Tel Aviv Museum, Apexart New York, Preview Berlin, Garage Moscow and Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam etc. Our broedplaats is happy to have such a cosmopolitan artist among us.

Images by Marcel van der Vlugt and Ilya Rabinovich

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