Kimia Kamvari | "Apeiron": Electric Room 23/50
A Show of Kimia Kamvari's Spore-Prints along with an Installation
Dastan is pleased to announce “Apeiron”, a presentation by Kimia Kamvari at Electric Room. The show will be open to public view from January 19 to 24, 2018. The presentation consists of spore-prints and an installation. The spore-prints are made using the spores of several fungi, producing ink-like effects on sand-papers and canvas boards.
“Apeiron” is a Greek word meaning “(that which is) unlimited”, “boundless”, “infinite”, or “indefinite”. It is made up of “a-” (meaning “without”) and “peirar” (meaning “end”, “limit”, “boundary”), and is akin to the Persian word “piramon”, meaning boundary, circumference, or surrounding. The earliest use of the word ‘apeiron’ has been attributed to Anaximander. The Greek philosopher, who lived in the 5th- and 4th-century BC, defined the abstract concept ‘apeiron’ as ‘an origin of the universe’. The origin, as Anaximander believed, must be ‘unlimited in its source’ and could create ‘without experiencing decay’ —in an ever-repeating ‘movement’, with no start and no stop, in timelessness.
The presentation includes a part of a series that Kimia started to develop after her move to a small village in Basque in autumn 2015. In this series, the artist is seen to embark on new experiences. Putting her previous practices behind, this time, she transcends her approaches to figuration, and tries to bring up a way to face the distance between ‘the artist’ and her ‘surrounding’. She uses materials that belong to her new habitat, and creates the possibility to carry their aesthetics to the works. Although the series is a part of a wider corpus, making minimal decisions, “Apeiron” works as a whole, and as such, helps introduce the main philosophical and aesthetic concerns of the artist.
About the Artist
Kimia Kamvari (b. 1986, Cologne, Germany) is an Iranian visual artist based in Basque country. She is a graduate of Painting from Faculty of Art and Architecture, Azad University, Tehran. Her work has been featured in several group exhibition in Iran and Europe. Most recently, she was a resident at Tabakalera International Center for Contemporary Culture, where she started her practice of using organic matter, leading to “Nature Change” series, which later contributed to the forming of her “Apeiron” series.
“Apeiron” is an ongoing series involving spore-print, accomplished during two autumns in Basque Country. This presentation is part of a bigger project that set off two years ago. The main subject is nature.
Spore is an adaptive and reproductive unit for dispersal that can lay dormant for a period of time before development into a fungus. Fungi, which we know as mushrooms, are fruiting bodies responsible for reproduction. Underneath the fungus’ cap there are millions of spores waiting to be spread out.
Events come along as in a chain, causing transformation and movement. We are born in a specific time and place, since then, we wander around until we settle in a certain place and grow, then die. Death is the moment of exit and dispersal, the sense of lightness and weightlessness.
A distance should be passed; you distance from a point and reach another. It lands on a certain point on the ground, a point in which everything starts from. We are dispersed and try to build up connections between ourselves and those which are outside. The movement begins from isolation to connection. Like moving around in a circle, around a point; the beginning and the termination overlap. The circle is the point which is laid bare and resettled all the time. Places are identified as spaces through the passage of time. Apeiron is the space surrounding us.
The more the limits of a place are omitted, the more the space’s limitlessness can be perceived. Sense of belonging is not necessary being pinned to a certain point of beginning, and it does not rely on a multi-national identity as well. There is something deeper and greater within. Our perception is open to our surroundings and fixated upon producing a form that appropriates eternity as comprehensible. Aesthetics with a kind of emotional enlightenment towards the world and aesthetic perception takes the task of explaining the whole.
Each house’s window is a framed landscape. The image in the window frame, like the pages of a calendar changes every day. It’s like living in a calendar. Most often, sun and clouds are entangled to one another early mornings. It’s humid and showery, that’s why most houses in the area have gardens. The garden connects the land to the house thus connecting us to the cycle of nature. Natural elements, as they enter our house and our bodies, turn into the most important material of my work.; taking routine walks to find new material turned into the methodology of my work. The experience of encountering a new place, new elements, a materialistic and somatosensory experience caused by friction and touch.
A time when the landscape falls down and gets closer to you, when the frame of the work falls short and the quiet dormant image shatters, is the time in which the nature’s revolution has begun and a chain of events is ongoing what follows; births, deaths, continuous decompositions, leave elements which resonate the traces of the landscape; the transition from idealism to realism, from abstraction to absolute presence, from space and time, to a truth which is formed in material.
The image happens with a distance but the event is in touch. How can we make an image that documents an experience of the world? As an artist, we are observes of our world trying to understand the unstable world surrounding us, trying to recreate a form reflecting this observation. In photography, the sensor is within the camera, and the camera is attached to our body, moving around with it. In painting, the sensor is within our body and the canvas is looking at us and time is the distance between us and the canvas.
The sensor of the earth is soil, the ground, for anything that happens and regenerations in nature —where the underground forces of the earth collide and coerce. Soil is the frameless painting of nature; a plate that archives footprints and accepts the remains of the events. Gravity, pulling everything towards itself walking underneath our steps, draws our glances as well.
Nature is a system of levels following one another. Each level produces another. A divergent and unceasing act. Uninterrupted transformations and decompositions following one after the other: birth, growth, death, decomposition, division and remains —material. Pluralism within a unique whole, which we know as nature; the ground for the interaction of all organisms. Seasons follow one another and happen again. Now it is full moon, then it is half. Nothing stays. Nature encountering “the artificial” is considered the truth. A unique whole which is laid deep within this repetition and recurrence, is a nonstop movement; seamless, unending.
When we enter the land of trees, space thickens. The thickness of the life going on in the outside overcomes us. Our senses are intrigued and ready for exploration. A mushroom is like a view hidden behind the branches of a tree or a gazelle showing up only at a glance, or a bird flying off of a tree, is found underneath the fallen leaves and branches of a tree, as if hiding itself, that’s why one gets excited searching for it. Within a million spores only one gets the chance of becoming a fungi, there exists a chance of its being toxic, delicious, or psychedelic, for us to discover.
Nature comes across the artificial. The question was how can art, itself an artifice, display a true/natural quality? How could I create an image that was not artificial and how could I repeat it without coming up with a representation. I was trying to subtract my agency so that nature can express itself. The spores were breathtaking. An image formed by the friction of the subject on the plate. An abstract image that contains the whole. The gathering of a million particles conceived with life.
The largest organism on earth is a fungus that occupies 2,384 acres of soil in Blue Mountains (Oregon). One can say nothing is more curious and essential for human’s life than fungi. They are born wild and weird and undercover, living most of their life underground. There have been 5 million types of fungi discovered so far. Their cryptic undercover life inspires our imagination. A complicated organism which is neither a flora nor fauna. More than one billion and a half years ago they diverged from other forms of organisms. Similar to animals and humans, they are heterotrophs, growing on dead material or roots of plants for this reason. They interact with a great amount of other plants. The body of a fungus, mycelium, a network consisting of threadlike microscopic filaments can move as deep as a thousand miles down the earth in search of food, extracting water and nitrogen from the wet rich soils, transporting them to other plants and extricating glucose in return. Identity is the first piece of the puzzle in this organism. It involves all the senses, color, smell, texture. Cut off the cap of the fungus and leave it for a night on a piece of paper. Millions of spores are released from the cap printed on the medium, unique like a finger print. The fungi make forms and each event begins at some point and spreads out.
A month after I arrived in Basque, we went on a mushroom hunt expedition with someone who knew a bunch of edible ones. We walked a long distance and reached to an area full of beech trees. We dispersed to find mushrooms —each of us searching for its luck somewhere. We picked a basket full of mushrooms. When we got back, we cooked and tasted them one by one. Our food was the result of our hard work and chance. The mushrooms that were picked later, shrunk after a while, leaving out a black ink-like fluid. They had an ‘expiry date’ for being consumed and were dissolving. They had to be kept. I started ‘drawing’ them. In the end, they turned into a black liquid, the stem being the only leftover.
The mushroom had digested itself turning into a black color. My painting was an instantaneous representation of time, lengthened and stretched. In fact, it was the mushroom which turned into an image. There was no representation. What was printed on the paper was a sequence of moments following one another, with the substance as the proof of what had happened. The image kept time as well.