Opening at Aaran Gallery on 16th February 2018
On view until 2nd March 2018
Allahyar Najafi is an urban poet. He offers different interpretations to a collection of words; names of places, digital signs and advertisements, reminding us the cities are made of words. The energy and speed of the cities he has lived in has made their mark. The poet walks the streets of cities and through lived experiences; he brings out the mundane in our everyday life. He collects scattered words in the city to articulate his identity and to explain his existence within the concrete and brick walls of cities. The excitements and frustrations of city life are fleeting moments and if not for urban poets who record and sing these moments, perhaps we will have very little to explain ourselves by. In our modern cities and the state of connectivity that we enjoy, we can easily be disconnected from our immediate surroundings, if not for the effort of artists and writers who explore the new arenas and arcades and create new memories for its citizens, we will probably not reconnect with our surroundings, at least not in a meaningful way.
The energy of this city dweller brings together the mechanical as well as natural elements that is a menagerie of the organic shapes and industrial forms; a multitude of layers that resembles urban life. Through the layers of paint on lenticular sheets he opens a combination of windows, windows that narrate only part of the story but together they create collective consciousness.
In the collage of his own photographs, his hybrids are free to roam the skies of the cities; freed from restraints and the brick and mortar; a flight of fancy that is engaging and wondrous.
In his amazing video “Shathiyat”, meaning ecstatic utterance and referencing Persian Sufi poetry, a love poem takes shape, one that is either addressed to a lady or to the city itself, the audience is to decide for themselves. Again artist collects words from the city and his rhythmic and expressive reading of these names creates poetry that is soothing and thought provoking. Same theme continues in his Rubik cubes- reminiscent of building blocks in a city- once again his playful mind offers combinations of words and numerous grouping of interconnecting cubes.
Both in meaning and in process Allahyar Najafi shows his wondering mind and pondering gaze. He engages with cities and is concerned with effects of subversive human greed and urban life on nature. In his ideal world citizens of the cities exist in the same story, not in ideal cities but in actual ones. Cities are considered as domains of ideas where the ugly and the beautiful come together and embrace multiplicity and grace of all the elements of life.