The second face of things

The intellectual power of ornamentlessness was evoked by the Viennese architect Adolf Loos in 1908 and he affirmed his formal purism with the sentence: "Since ornament no longer is organically connected with our culture, it is no longer the expression of our culture". You can also see it differently. The ornament can indeed create identity, if, coming from another culture, it fits into an overall concept that uses the traditional form as an aesthetic quarry of artistic self-discovery.

This is precisely the case with the early works of the native Iranian Linda Nadji, who can not deny their origin in the ornamentation of Persian textiles and miniatures. But what can be seen at first glance as a link to a tradition anchored in memory is already part of a revaluation. These are partly delicate, partly densely composed gestural watercolors that function as passages of an artistic path: art that is questioningly "on the road" and finds its own language during this migration.

The transitory and with it its experimental function remain style-defining. They also determine the character of later works that are formally more free and process-oriented. There are mural paintings emanating from stamp images in which the contrast words Orient-Occident are inextricably overlaid in a circle that seems to rotate. An outdoor game remains open, the complete merger does not take place. The definitive appearance of a meter-long black fabric panel suspended from simple wire hangers remains unclear. It can be stretched with two brackets from one wall to the other or hang as a flat piece of wall in an endless loop. Material and ground substance remain, but the change of the appearance gives this work in progress a different character, which results from the shifting or reducing of the stirrups, by respectively different streamlining, folding or hanging of the fabric. For the artist, this transformation is part of her self-experience: a change that is created in the work of art itself, always to re-activate, to put even the simplest material and found in a new context of meaning.

This also applies to a wall work made of simple rubber band, in which the elastic material is stretched across a tiled pattern. Some strands overlap and outstrip this variable pattern toward the other wall or to a window. Here, the innate longing for harmony is disturbed visually, but not abolished. The driving force is the perception of space, the initiative to look at places that are commonly overlooked: spatial exploration as a sensitive experience. The wall installation "Wir", created in 2008, has a special significance: two colored crochet pieces - found in the form of a penis and a broom - are mounted on wooden discs so that they look like haptic projections of the masculine and feminine, striking and touching at the same time , You can also see it as a fusion of found and processed form.

The element is the intuition with which signals are set here - and the sensitivity with the ever-fragile everyday materials such as envelopes, paper plates, tracing paper to works of subtle poetic power are joined together. These are accumulations that work with the principle of repetition and give the material a new meaning. The driving force is the desire to communicate aesthetically with the material, to transform things of one's own environment, to create something new with an unnoticed industrial product. The useful piece becomes a meaning object, which conquers the room with delicate forcefulness.

Also in the paint work on paper, it is always about basic structures, their repetition and dissolution. It shows in the collages of photo strips, which have been passed over with retouching, in the filigree drawings composed of gold and silver color, in which grow out of a geometric basic form bundles of rays and new geometric shapes, in wall-filling acrylic drawings in which bright yellow particles partly clearly from each other are separated, partly flow into each other. Linda Nadji is a designer who brings together the meaning and sensuality of the object, the image, the installation. This always leads us back to those works that deal with their own origins. The centerpieces are ceramics in the form of folded textiles. They remind us of closed prayer rugs, of hammam towels, but they also appear to us as relics of lived life, frozen as it were - a paradoxical act, because the firing process of the material increases as it moves away from distanced from the original function of the textiles, their almost petrified sacral character. The gestures of the early years are completely overcome with such sculptural objects. But the impulse is the same: the artist is concerned with the stimulation of an inner school of seeing, with the transformation of the material, with the search for clues that open new doors.