When I dream at night.
My daily remains get rendered.
Into nuggets of cryptic knowledge.
What is created,..
May unfortunately vaporrr
When my eyes gush full with daylight again.
Sunken at the bottom.
To be softly seized
Only, during a daydream dive.
Softly Seized presents us a moment in the perpetual and multidimensional exercises of Navid Nuur. Nuur seeks to access a glance at an oft unobserved common language; to unburden oneself from the hold of the contemporary on perception and to create works that underline the perceptual differences in how each of us encounters the world. Marbling has existed in his practice as early as 2014 when he began seeking out such intricate patterns as a consequence of material transformation; one such work (of many) titled “Unified not Uniformed” employs various protective paints applied to metals to selectively inhibit corrosion. After many years, he has refined his methodology beyond chemical coincidence and in “Softly Seized” it has gained new prominence as a means of investigating what an audience brings to an artwork - reciprocating both gaze and environment, the viewers projection and interpolation lingers upon them much like the aura of light the works impart on the space around them.
His practice, marked by the ease at which material transformations take on a state of play have gained an elemental and almost scientific currency. As seen in his ceramic practice: a branch can be burnt to ash, then superheated in a furnace, becoming stone or the basis of a glaze - such alchemy at first glance might seem a slight of hand - it is rather an indication that perspective, the body and matter itself are all subject to reorganisation. However, ‘Softly Seized’ leans further into lyricism - Nuur’s point of conception for the marblings being an expansive collage of images, aggregated without judgement. The innate flows between images - that may take shape in colour, figure or association are read and transcribed by means of a “wind map”: a tool developed by Nuur to visualise the emergent flows that arise from his own unconscious workings - how the images are felt.
These images, very much “of the now” are dismantled by a primal intuition, drawing us away from what the images might represent to disclose a deeper, more timeless study of the act of looking. Herein lies the significance of marbling as a forum for such investigations to take place - historically decorative and never the focus (rather the wrappings of a significant work of literature or holy text); this repurposing offers unbroken ground to promulgate and enwrap the outgrowths of ones own looking. Nuur, in seeking something more perennial and expansive than the historical narratives surrounding painting, has created a kind of anechoic space free from the caprice of culture. Instead, relating to the self and to sensory experience. The “window” of a coordinated space inherent to the tradition of painting is contorted - now concave, these steel surfaces designed specifically for the task of capturing fluid, awaken and stare back in with their optical dimension.
So that he might better interact with the medium, Nuur has developed a variety of tools fashioned specifically for certain tasks: forked wooden pieces to streak and strand, palettes for swathes and tides, bold spades for dramatic arcs. Though, much like the viewers’ gaze there is an understanding that in such a medium one can only go so far in dictating the final outcome. According to Nuur, we are born stranded in a life of stimuli (a mayhem) and we are given certain means to make sense of a world. In developing specific tools Nuur, lightly plucks at these workings - what you smell, see and hear with; these are all compasses whose guidance can be drawn along subtly warped new fields - much like Nuur’s marblings our intuition acts as a fluid that once you understand its dynamics can (to a certain extent) be maneuvered.
Two works from this series are on view at the Kunstmuseum den Haag until the 25th of September for their exhibition titled “Mondriaan Movies”.