This is the first International museum one-man show of Navid Nuur, a young conceptual artist, who was born in Teheran, Iran, and is now based in the Netherlands. He calls his works ‘interimodules’, a word-creation deriving from the terms ‘interim’ and ‘module’.
I like his work, as it approaches serious aesthetic issues with a seemingly naïve playfulness and conceptual cleverness.
For his work series ‘Tentacle Thought’, he uses the neon lamps of an exhibition hall as material, extends their electric cables and creates patterns and writings from them in the room.
A number of his low-tech installations, or interimodules, circle around painterly issues. The show’s title ‘The Value of Void’ also refers to Mr. Nuur’s interest in the void and/or the color black. For his work ‘ENCOUNTER’ of 2007, he used a regular canvas and painted the stenciled word ‘encounter’ by a non-water-resistant felt marker on it. Then, he sprayed water on the canvass and most of the black color disappeared. Just like the fading memory of an encounter with a person. Also, it became obvious that the black felt pen color showed more colors than black, when diluted. Very poetic.
The element water is of continuous interest to him: The show’s catalogue features an imaginary interview with ‘the water’ by Navid Nuur. For the work ‘Let Us Meet inside You’ (2006 – 2009) he used a water dispenser, his note book and his belt. In the notebook, he wrote the words ‘Let Us Meet inside You’. Then he mounted the notebook on the back of the water container by the use of the artist’s belt. In a very playful way, he challenges the Duchampian concept idea of the work materializing in the mind of the viewer. Frequently, he challenges the role of the ingenious artist or the work as an icon. At Fridericianum, he made a wall of crates of water bottles filled with tab water from his studio. The visitors were invited to experience the art work by drinking the water.
If you ask Navid Nuur, he says he ‘doesn’t think in materials – he thinks in contexts’. His works often have a prosessual character: For ‘Untitled (Please locate our vibe...)’ of 2006 – 2008, he used a regular lamp with a motion detector from a hardware store. When the viewers moved into the showroom, the writing ‘Please locate our vibe’ was visible. When they looked at the piece and didn’t move the light went off and indicated the writing ‘Please relocate your vibe’. In the context of a museum show, this is not just an artistic joke, but also an act of institutional critique.