Germany - Berlin - Künstlerhaus Bethanien - Maryam Najd19/12/2011
Non Existence Flag Project
20 January - 12 February 2012
Maryam Najd is a political artist- and yet she is aware of the futility of any expressly activistic "political art". She is concerned with construction of identity and the exclusion of the other; the relation between nationality and internationally; and the subtle nuances that distinguish national orientation from national bearing.
Her Non Existence Flag Project (2010- with planned continuance until 2012) is comprised of 195 paintings of identical format (80 x 60 cm). Each painting symbolises one of the 195 flags of the world's nation, and they are presented in correlation to the names of the various nations- arranged in alphabetic order. The awaited flag-form, however, has been abandoned by the artist completely; neither the expected horizontal format nor the awaited variance in characteristics or design has been retained.
Najd employs an altogether democratic process in that she generates an average of value from the colours of each individual flag to finally achieve monochrome paintings which are truly egalitarian. It is solely due to a number of subtly modulated light reflexes that one is still able to discern the hand of the artist. With this unity of colour, she disengages all symbolic preferentiality and plans off the ornamental particularities. Najd displays nations without attributes. Though the notion of nationality retains a colourful character and format, it no longer affords any grounds for confrontation; inasmuch as the colour constitutes a relative relational phenomenon, a fundamental denationalisation occurs- whereby Najd reaffirms the validity of Josef Albers' finding that, with the right amount of effort, any colour "goes" or "works" with any other colour.
Text by Christian Malycha (translated by Nathan Moore).
More info: www.bethanien.de - www.maryamnajd.com