Nedim Kufi’s solo exhibition Words of “Attar” is on view at Kelimat Art Gallery in Istanbul. Here’s a guided tour through the exhibition, as told by the artist.
A research of the written Arabic letters extended for years in a serious attempt to understand its organic anatomy, both apparent and internal. Perhaps it is a passion that connects night and day in pronunciation in a visual way, drawn in a manner that comes after in the form of a philosophical perception at times – or as a physical phenomenon at other times. The person concerned with the research here will be a “painter”, not a “calligrapher”. As for the strategy of the idea, it is bold to the point of distorting or disassembling in detail the form of meaning in the body of the word. We speak of the word in the language of carving, and we find it once “a branch of a tree”, a new bud growing in early spring, delicate sticks in a bird’s nest, clay fragments, the fragility of majestic ash, running water in a grove, palm shades, a rare poetic state.
We have to forget now that it is writing because this time it has become a “non-linguistic” theoretical fabric. It may even be a “pleasant maze” without a map or evidence. Perhaps it is the high “symbolic” feelings of the only inference on the road. The verbal image underwent microscopic analysis and was subjected to cutting, gluing, displacement, or even removal. The tariqa belongs to “poor art”, no doubt, with words melted in ink on the face of a very transparent Asian manuscript. The mixture of contradictions and accommodation will open up numerous margins under the crux of the matter. The primary purpose of my dealing with the Arabic letter is not the previously known “literal” but “contemporary design perception”, put together by a mystical sense that goes quietly to “creating a picture rooted by a word.”
My project lies between “text” and “image” in confusion, sarcasm, rebelliousness, and other qualities that are essentially “unfamiliar”, writing as well as drawing. The purpose of the project is to portray “new information” innocent from the past, generous and abundant, fun, born of chance or thoughts, under a long personal experience in intellectual and conceptual montage. It depends on sharing with others and listening to them because it is a “flexible interaction” that concludes through dialogue paths beyond personal imagination. Modernity in my project is an important feature, and it takes a great help from the intellectual partner. Sometimes I watched what was happening to the words as they were smashed like a small statue, and I felt an overwhelming euphoria that would re-read it from more than one angle.
More than once, the “instantaneous” has taken the initiative of striving to make a part for the whole, constructing a sober body of the word by capturing extreme sensitivity to the bright meanings as if they were precious jewels kept in a box studded with wisdom. That what’s ancient has been inhabiting the dictionary since ancient times. At the same time what is presented through the simple popular tongue may live peacefully together on a new line. I have a message that includes my project from East to West, to internationalism or universality, whereby the human being is like a word, one authentic, but not within a tribe. Through the experience of my life in the West I noticed the extent of longing for the East, for the sun, for spontaneous, free speech. Spontaneity is another key ear for decoding phonemic symbols and making them sound visuals.
The exhibition is on view until the 4th of September.