Irina Birger by Marcel van der Vlugt

Irina Birger was born in Moscow and lived in Serbia as a teenager. She received a BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Fine Art and Design in Jerusalem and an MFA from the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam where she is currently based.

Irina’s work is completely entwined with her personal life. An incessant compulsion for introspection and self-reflection is the driving force behind her art practice which centers on identity boundaries and personal encounters with external instabilities such as relationships, social gatherings, or political events. The resulting internal struggle and examination of her (mis)interpretations have led to different artistic personalities/alter egos and their representations, which are built on juxtapositions such as personal and social, alienation and participation, neutrality and agency, realism, and fantasy.

Growing up in the Soviet Union, Irina experienced the powerful mechanisms of propaganda that repressed independent thought and inquiry. Its methods were not just practical, but also extremely visual. Social Realist style and Stalinist Imperial architecture greatly influenced her artistic development. Their monumental arrangements inspire admiration, humility, and wonder, similar to the visual impact of the sacred formations. As a result, she is strongly interested in the visual strategies and formal principles of different religions and cults, and incorporates them in her work. Central symmetry, patterns, slogans, and monumental approach often appear in her work.
Irina exhibited a.o. in Israel Museum (IL), Tel Aviv Museum (IL), Haifa Museum of Art (IL), Mediamatic (NL), W139 (NL), Apexart (US), the Israeli Centre for Digital Art (IL), Today Art Museum (CN), Redtory (CN), Preview Berlin Art Fair (DE), Blue Oyster Art Project Space (NZ), Drawing Center Diepenheim (NL), Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (NL), Kabinet T (CZ), Nieuw Dakota (NL), Amsterdam Drawing (NL), Viborg Kunsthal (DK), AMNUA (CN), Q21 (AT), Het Hem (NL), Kunsthal Kade (NL) and Museum Tot Zover (NL).

Irina was an artist in residency at a.o. Chinese European Art Centre (CN), the Israeli Center for Digital Art (IL), MeetFactory (CZ), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (DE) and MuseumsQuartier (AT). 

Her works are part of many private and public collections such as Haaretz Art Collection (IL), Israel Museum (IL), C-Collection (Lichtenstein), EYE Collection (NL), Spoorbeeld (NL), CBK Zuidoost (NL) and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (NL).

Irina accomplished projects for public space assigned by ProRail (Dutch Railways) in 2015 and by the Municipality of Utrecht in collaboration with TextielLab (Tilburg) in 2020.

© 2024 Irina Birger unless otherwise stated. Image and text may not be used without the prior permission of the copyright holder.