Full Circle Gallery presents the works produced by Ahmed Faizan Naveed.
Ahmed Faizan Naveed's portfolio immediately makes one thing obvious: he makes Difficult Art. Fortunately, the artist has no difficulty being articulate and receptive - his statements, though requiring a higher degree of attentiveness to his intentions, are entirely legible, but to complete the process of reading, interpreting and understanding his oeuvre requires familiarity with the genre he is so deeply immersed in.
Obviously, Naveed's exhibitions are powered by a conceptual methodology by way of an experimental approach and a meticulously reflexive relationship with his chosen materials. For this writer, whose relationship to celluloid is life-historical, ranging from Super-8 and 16mm in his childhood, and then later, 35mm, medium, large and specialised formats both for print and cinema, there is a high risk of a blase response, but fortunately traces of the allegorical aspect of photography remain, the scopophilic instinct triggered by the chemistry of light and silver salts hovers in close vicinity just beneath the intellectual activity that Naveed demands and magnetically must pull forth from the viewer.
The term 'contemporary' within Art turns out to be a generally misappropriated term in our times. Considering that it was first used nearly a century ago in relation to the problematics of authorship and the possibilities of language within literature, given definition by Bakhtin and Benjamin amongst others, shortly after the first great European war and then worked on, up to the nineteen-seventies, the categorization becomes inutile in most situations now because most artists are not aware of it's origins at all.
In a discussion regarding what was then defined as a mark of the Contemporary, primarily in writing and drama, and the critique of the synchronic act in aesthetics, Beasley-Murray writes in Mikhail Bakhtin and Walter Benjamin: Experience and Form: 'As in Bakhtin, these moments of stasis that interrupt the flow of events reveal to the contemplator the alternative possibilities in the present.The dragging of the artwork from the cultic and ritual past to the present liberates it for new purposes in the future. Similarly, in Benjamin's analysis of Brecht's epic theater, interruption, through Verfremdungseffecte, creates an expanded present in the which the distracted audience can reflect on how events might be different, in which the claims of competing viewpoints can coexist and be evaluated. As in Baktin's polyphonic novel, reality reveals itself here as 'one of many possible realities', 'not arbitrary', and as bearing within itself 'many possibilities'.' Naveed's declared interest in simultaneous points of view as well as the subterranean presence of polyphonia (admittedly a hard-to-get-at axiology) is precisely what makes his oeuvre bona fide Contemporary.
So, one must also learn to access, in Naveed's methodology, a strategic deployment, a demonstration in the formation of a linguistic turn and, as yet another one of the hallmarks of a work being contemporary according to Bakhtin, Voloshinov et al, of an intuitional cognisance of the importance, perhaps even the supercesion, of language in aesthetics. Naveed's oeuvre operates mainly in the conversion, if not the extension, of the visual to and towards a particular form of language that does not function solely for the sake of manipulation - the exhibition at Full Circle could well be titled Light Box Photopositive, and to repeat, his stated interest in the 'what if' of multiple points of view represented simultaneously (in other works apart from this particular set) is a sign of linguistic montage-making as opposed to a simple predilection for creating visual assemblages.
With Naveed, one profits by syncing with his keen attention to the environments in which he exhibits, and his decidedly authorial concern with beginnings, middles and endings. The voluntary effort goes some distance to help resolve his difficult textualism. In this particular exhibition, the artist presents in-between states, drawing attention to landscapes with structures built in preparation for eventual habitation. En route to the exhibition space proper, like a well-considered word chosen for it's ambiguity, a lone Photopositive (titled Twigs) was placed amongst the bushes in the courtyard of the gallery - a 'farewell' lightbox, as dubbed by the artist himself. To the last, it offered the visitor an encounter that might be written out as Hello Threshold Goodbye