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Urban Poetry

Allahyar Najafi

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.‎
Nazila Noebashari