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Donnerstag, 5. Januar 2012

Opulence and Power of Ornaments Weißensee Berlin

This work by a graduate of Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin strikes a critical path. With the use of unexpected materials in the tradition of the Islamic ornament, it hopes to bring current and contrary influences together, be they technical or political.
The Islamic ornament has its genesis in image ban, which was enforced almost four centuries after the advent of Islam. Image ban was to deactivate the widespread worship of pagan Gods and their manifestations. So, in order to establish monotheism, any cult which was dedicated to other godhood must have been battled. Instead, the absoluteness of the one God was set, which could not be modified by any kind of earthly manifestations. The most important ritual to pay homage to the one God was the prayer and the place in which it was performed must have been free from any kind of „impurity“. In that sense the images of human beings and animals were considered as „impure“;therefore, were banned from the mosques and public spaces. Whilst the possibilities of figurative representations were blocked, an artistic expression, so much the more creative flowered out, that laid on the mathematical and geometrical knowledge, which was highly developed to that time. To this day ornament is the most predominant form of expression in the Islamic world and coins essentially its culture and self-conception. Especially in mosques, who’s indoor is often entirely coated with ornaments, there is a powerful connection between the cosmologic, absolute notion of god and a compelling optic experience. All elements are parts of an ordered and apparently endlessly expanding system. The obsessive play of repetition and variation makes also each Muslim a part of a major overwhelming arrangement. In that sense, sometimes, it can even create overlaying image planes, when the ordered mass of prayers or pilgrim appears to take the form of an ornament itself.
In this opulence and powerful effect of the Islamic ornament lies its ambivalence. On one hand it is not to be restricted by any symbolism and can create intensive aesthetic experiences by its endless variable and playful form  language. On the other hand it builds an aesthetic of control and power that connects it to a religious-social system, which implies the suggestive visually of ornament as a means of severe discipline.
With this historical background and the impulse of the current ideological overloaded politics of my homeland Iran, this work strikes a critical path. It explores the structures and coherences of the abstract form, but to deconstruct and reassemble it in a way that other aspects of it reveals.
The process of design included developing a geometric grid, which in spite of its chaotic and fragmented look follows a strict repeating structure. Other than that with the use of unexpected materials in the tradition of Islamic ornament, it hopes to bring current and contrary influences together (Technical, Political).

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