The will to Exhibit!

Helia Darabi

A review on the sculptures of Amir Mobed in Hoor Gallery

Right at the entrance, blades, arrogance, outstretched parts, hair and hot colours would rush before your eyes as if they are thorns, thrusting into your eyes. Then you encounter the bodies; compiled bodies with exaggerated limbs. Elbows and vaccume-like suckers with grown hair at the openings, twisted and curved creatures with their hair and stings that remind us of colourful wool larva having a long thorn or sting on the back, or the swallowing amphibians, or porcupines giving birth.  

This recent exhibition of Amir Mobed in Hoor gallery seems to be a significant event for him as an artist. He turned to making sculptures again after the installations and pop art experiences for years, either in public or artistic environments, eternal or non-eternal. One of the features in his previous installations was using various and distasteful materials such as chalk, mud, painted or rusty iron, wood or sand, candle, ice, fruits, hair and flowers on one hand, and reaching the pleasant expression through reproducing and repeating similar elements in the general frame of work, on the other. However, they are all following the critical approach which could never be far from the aesthetic concerns. The experiences from all these years undoubtedly had a great influence on his recent works in aspects such as having the courage to use various materials in his sculptures, the peripheral hints and layers of meaning and personal and unconventional aesthetic (at least in the field of sculpture). Yet the artist has unleashed his unconscious mind to express and meddle, willing to “objectify”. Emotional rush and uncontrolled invasions are quite bold in these works. There is a great desire and a powerful libido, a great motivation to build and show which is also seen in a compressed and breath-taking rhythm, great efforts of the artist to control and prison a desire from within. The symbolic expression of such rush could be perfectly seen in the ruptured monster, watching his own bladal birth. As if it is the artist’s other self, observing the birth of an unknown phenomenon. The most powerful part for this motivation might be to exhibit and expose what must be hidden. An action to challenge the shy side of the artist. What we humans expose of ourselves as a display window, and what we hide and we feel ashamed of, are all parts of us our own selves while the human society determines what is to be hidden and not be discussed. In other words, the cases for “the shameful” is to some extend psychological and biological as well as culturally constructed. Discussing issues such as death and personal hygiene, as the most popular taboos. The hair seems trimmed and neat when it is on the head, yet dirty and pathetic on the feet; a game for the must-be covered and must-not-told secrets; a challenge for the attractive clichés: morality and norm.  

Shame, is the product of interfering with the ordinary. A tough and constructed condition. And artists are those who have rebelled against the ordinary, and the society’s effort for ordinarising. Such rebel is very well demonstrated by the blades, sharp edges and vigorous curves. In such a situation, the artist is confronted with a resistance against tradition and therefore, there would be a rupture inside. Because there is something he “is not willing about” and there would be an empty space left not filled, but with arrogance and rudeness. 

The works indicate irony; an all-time present feature of his works, seen both in the over-night grown mushrooms in the contemporary park-museum of art and rusty angels and cracked apples and also very well demonstrated in here. It is accepted to speak of taboos in an ironic way. The exaggerations, the inharmonious companionship of curved and straight forms, the hair and unpredictable colours would all bring an ironical dynamism to the works. Some elements are present, and others are not; the jaws, openings, feet, tail, blade, sting, trunk, headband, hat and the shoe are there, while the head, the portrait, the eyes and the hand are often not.

In the combination of the sculptures, there is roughness and there is delicacy. Magnificence and glory in combination with innocence; like monster toys or mythical ogres who have weaknesses along with being dangerous. The combination of the outgrown parts and the blades make the sculptures potentially dangerous and therefore, powerful at the same time. Yet, the inharmoniousness and defects, question the integrity of the works which affects the way the audience will embrace to the sculptures. The disintegrating weakness, the symptom, provokes our sympathy and empathy and its explicitness could hurt and reject the audience until it turns into pity and so the audience could forgive the sculpture and then accompany it at ease. Visual aesthetic features and attractions in sculptures, are other matters that would be intentionally questioned and challenged and scrutinized the process. The artist debates on the element of beauty and visual attraction which has reached a popularity and a shallowness due to the market’s interference in modern art products. 

Technically speaking, the making and final processing of the sculptures seems to be fairly done. The accordance of heterogeneous materials with the welded iron sheets however, could be a privilege and/or an imposition at the same time. Applying more expensive materials such as bronze casting or more of today-used materials such as plastic and fibre-glass however, could result in the increased flexibility of forms and ways and the quality of expression. Applying some materials and not all, and defining the sculpture in a more venturous space could be a more useful approach for the forthcoming works in the future. The collection in general, seems to be reasonable for Amir Mobed and for modern sculpture accompanying social concerns and criticisms. The major concern in the present days seems to be the oldschool conservative traditional approaches to formalist aesthetics in the sculpture which seems to be bothering the artist. The result would be a fluctuation between a devastating doubt and the mighty will to create.

Please enter your email address here