Espai 13

Exhibition program
Cycle: Explicit silence
Sirous Namazi
Curated by

Born in the small Iranian town of Kerman, Sirous Namazi (1970) was forced to flee his country after the 1979 Revolution, settling with his family in Sweden at the age of 13. This unquestionably traumatic experience informed the background of his dual identity and his artistic research and has led him to construct a narrative centred, on the one hand, on a subtle and ironic exploration of the difficulties of representation and communication and, on the other, on the opposition between integration and exclusion, the notion of "home" and cross-cultural relations.

Namazi, who represented Sweden at the 52nd Venice Biennial, explores, through his formal range and perfect execution, the boundaries between sculpture and painting and reinterprets the aesthetic of minimalism, giving it new meanings. His work often springs from urban landscapes and can be positioned within a very broad framework of three-dimensional expression that encompasses large sculptures as well as small objects. The artist also uses video, drawing, and photography.

Interior (2007) is a series of seven photographs showing a darkened apartment on the outskirts of Stockholm. At first glance the pictures, taken in dim light, seem to be totally black but the shapes, which are initially unrecognizable, gradually emerge from the darkness. These false monochromes, which initially convey a seemingly impenetrable silence, gradually open up to the attentive viewer revealing their interior visibility. The viewer, now "voyeur", penetrates the darkness of the different rooms, moving from blindness to vision or, to put it another way, from the silence of the first impression to the silence of a visible and inhabited darkness. The series serves as a metaphor for the depth and complexity of visual silence, maintaining a dialogue with other recurring elements in his work such as architecture, minimalism, transparency and volume.

Territory (2010), a piece made specifically for Explicit Silence, consists of a single mattress displaying a series of hand-embroidered images of damaged or collapsed buildings alluding to natural disasters and war. Thus, through the formalism of the mattress, which references ideas of silence, rest, and home (territory), and the use of embroidery (which traditionally depicts more agreeable images), Namazi connects the ultimate place for relaxation with disasters, war and the disappearance of our own fragile territory of silence.

Box (2008), as the name suggests, represents a simple mundane object; an ordinary cardboard box of the kind that often gets battered in transport and removals, except that it is re-contextualized and in this case made of glass. Its fragility, its white luminosity and its open, expectant but untouchable inner emptiness refer to a form of silence; fragile and of the utmost purity, refusing to tolerate any violence.

In Series of Drawings (2010), Namazi shows his normal work process, a kind of model for ways of planning, sketching and developing his future work. Relating to the architecture of rooms and, once again, the concept of home, these drawings are metaphors for interior / exterior borders and the lack of them.