Fluxes of Life
Ghodratollah Agheli’s bronze spheres have resulted from his lived experiences and subjective concerns in the past two years. These works express the technical mastery of an artist who is familiar with the warmth of fire and malleability of a metal resembling the liquid blood of the earth in its shining chastity, a metal whose taming by man has brought him his groundbreaking revolution of the metal age and the subsequent taming of nature. During the past millennia bronze was created through mixing copper and tin. The first creative ideas of man’s for making instruments mixed with the liquid soul of this metal and appeared in form of statues of gods and goddesses of fertility. Later the sharp instruments of war were created by man: blades, swords, daggers, spears, etc. and the time of patriarchy and dominance of the masters of war commenced. We still live in the Bronze Age.
Agheli’s statues have resulted from a two-year-long process. They were created as contemporary shining bronze volumes. The red metal was trimmed during this long process, heated, hammered, welded and polished finally resulting in the shinning and strong fluxes of today.
However, which concealed mysteries and treasures hidden in the spherical form of this omnipresent form in nature are the subjective and conceptual concerns of the artist trying to solve?
He himself says, ‘the intention behind creating these works was to create a universe which, apart from opening the hidden interior of earthly or heavenly particles, free the surrounding environment from separation and place something more than the cone of human sight in the look of the viewer through showing the unmatched order of nature or the delicate relations between part and the whole in its convex reflection.’
With such mystic-philosophical desire, the artist tries to bring order to the thought forming the ‘first matrix’ of his spherical volumes.
Through the comprehension of being ‘situated’ between the infinite space and his earthly base, between the micro and macro worlds, the artist’s being has plunged into a philosophical wonder and in order to find an answer for the unresolved mystery of being, has taken refuge in the poetical hillside of mysticism searching for the mystery of being in the primary matter of the world, from ultra-small quarks to ultra-large and unconceivable astronomical objects (supernova).
His spheres are cast in the chaste metal of bronze in the hillside of man’s great philosophical wonders of being a ‘particle’ compared to the infinitude of being and the limitedness of space and matter. In this revelation, Agheli is not trying to find an answer to the mystery of existence; with the introduction of the quantum world and the holographic world, the potentiality and possibility of otherness has increased. Accroding to Lacan:
‘After the intuitional knowledge of immediate comprehension, we have reached the period for logical knowledge of mediated comprehension of statements.’
Today, man is faced with new open windows of an existence outside himself in which the law of causality in nature are considered functioning outside the limits normal sensations and understanding.
Through penetrating the world of micro-system and introducing the holographic theory which considers the materiality of world nothing but different forms of energy basing fractal laws on the structure of form, today’s knowledge places new alternatives in front of artist’s creative subjectivity.
Agheli’s volumes open up like complementary hemispheres (fig. 1); or similar to a tray of fire, they portray untamed flames (fig. 2); or in a section, display the inner layers of the earth (fig. 3); or similar to a womb, bring small spheres into the world (fig. 4); or like an empty sphere with mixed layers, illustrate the passing of a meteor within them (fig. 5); in times we see a sphere accommodating another regular volume (such as a cube) (fig. 6); or encompassed by one (fig. 7) or one which has turned into an architectural structure echoing in itself light and vibrations of shades. (fig. 8)
Some volumes display a microscopic structure, their opened surface guiding the curious gaze of the viewer to their hidden insides (fig. 9); or resemble the amazing architecture of innumerous viruses in nature. (fig. 10)
Some others display macro forms which, like opposite poles, are separated from one another (fig. 11); or show a planet with many moons trapped by its gravity (fig. 12); or are a division of a sphere whose parts are detached on a curve (fig. 13); or an exploded star transverse by an astronomic object (fig. 14).
Agheli has placed most of them on a polished black plate alluding to the first stage of the world and the darkness of space so that its dark surface can expose and repeat the glare and reflections of the metallic surface of the spheres.
Such duality, such mirror-like double-sidedness, has resulted in rendering visible the paradox of the existence of form and its virtual image and has captured a complex set of light, reflections of glazing metal and the infinite combination of its images and shadows.
In a structural study and ontological attempt, these sculptures can be classified as belonging to the realm of modern thinking. I refer to some of these qualities:
1.The structure of the work obeys the lawfulness of the modern period and Paul Cezanne’s definition of basic forms. According to this structural classification of three dimensional forms, sphere is considered a basic volume. This basic and balanced volume contains an amazing order of harmony of lines and continuous surfaces. On the other hand, this volume is a balanced form of an inner gravity and a result of external forming factors: a balance between the ideal essential form of masses and small and large material of universe.
2.The dynamic forms of these bronze statues is in line with the substantial notion of modernity, i.e. change and constant transformation.
3.In their solidity and closure, these volumes are either devoid of time or a particular time is inscribed in them. Similar to all statues of the first period of modernism, they have turned in a dialectical process into spatial three dimensional static volumes.
On the other hand, one can probably classify Agheli among sculptors who are continuing the disrupted path of Iranian modern art in the 50s, following the path of the structure of the modern logic for volumes trying to combine this dynamic system with the lasting and valuable forms of national culture and tradition in order to reach a national synthesis, the same way distinguished and creative artists of this wonderful period of Iranian modern art achieved novel solution for the creative art of their time and reached a culmination which still, after three decades, has remained unreachable.
Agheli’s statues resemble great fluxes detached from the dynamic wheel of existence and juxtaposed without any rupture in their material life. These volumes are the starting point of a new development in the creative process of this artist.