News

 

Sibylle Zerr graduated in cultural anthropology from Heidelberg University, and works as an author and photo journalist. Her works have been published in magazines and newspapers, as well as in book form; her book debut "Blues für einen Schmetterling" (published 2006 in the German language), a collection of interviews, reportages, short stories and photos from pre-Katrina New Orleans, has been widely acclaimed.

 

Sibylle Zerr works as an Ethnologists and free author. She is living and working right in the Rhein-Neckar-Delta and perceives Mannheim as a kind »Sesam, öffne dich« »Open. Sesame!«  The Scheherazade, finding herself in the 21st century is confronting the town and its inhabitants amidst the overflowing life.

 

Ein Weltbürger streut Symbole
Sibylle Zerr

 




 

Earth, Sea, Sun, And Sky
Art in Nature

Barbara Stieff

 

 

Barbara Stieff © by Doris Meixner, 2011 

 

Barbara Stieff lives and works in Vienna as a freelance author , director and cultural educator.

 

She is an author and stage director who worked for many years at the ZOOM children’s museum in Vienna. In 2007 her successful book Hundertwasser for Children and in 2008 her The Blue Rider for Children were published by Prestel Verlag.

 

 

 

About Ahmad Nadalian

By : Edward Lucie-Smith

Art Tomorrow
 

More

 

 

Art in the Landscape
Marked in Stone and Sand

An Iranian sculptor brings his art to the river, beaches—and parks.

By Robert C. Morgan

 

 

In the Search of Lost Paradise

Ahmad Nadalian  . More  

 


 

Nadalian @ Dialogues in Diversity  

By John K. Grande

 

 

Utne Magazine May-June 2006  USA

Ahmad Nadalian
[Iran]

A human who loves stones and water, Ahmad Nadalian moves like a fish transgressing international borders. Nadalian  has traveled widely, leaving graphic messages on all continents but Antarctica in the form of etched stones ...
 More

 

 

 

 

Work by Ahmad Nadalian @ Environmental Art Calender 2009 in USA

 

 


 

UNDER THE DOME OF TIME:
Two Iranian Sculptors

By Professor  Robert C. Morgan

 

 

 

River Art:

An interview by John K. GRANDE

 more

 

 

 

Dialogue with contemporary Artists and History

 

 

 

Art in the Landscape

Marked in Stone and Sand

An Iranian sculptor brings his art to the river, beaches—and parks.

By Robert C. Morgan

 

Dialogue of two Iranian and American artists for Peace

 

Nadalian @ Dialogues in Diversity  

By John K. Grande

 

Nadalian in Green Museum

By carving simple fish shapes and other forms onto small stones and river rocks, artist Ahmad Nadalian seeks to repopulate the spirit of neglected streams and rivers in his native Iran and around the world and share these treasures with future generations.  more

 

Utne Magazine May-June 2006  USA

Ahmad Nadalian
[Iran]

A human who loves stones and water, Ahmad Nadalian moves like a fish transgressing international borders. 
 More

 

About Ahmad Nadalian

By Professor  Robert C. Morgan
 

"I was so impressed with your concept, working at low tide in the early mornings to carve signs that during the day would be concealed.  It calls into question so much about time, history, language, meaning, and sculpture." More

 

About Ahmad Nadalian

By : Edward Lucie-Smith
 

In Iran, Ahmad Nadalian (b.1963) is in the process of creating an immense River Art installation along the banks and amidst the waters of the Haraz River, near Mount Damavend More

 



Art Tomorrow

 

Artists at Paradise International Center

 

Works In Italy

Works In Germany

The International Center for Creation and exhibition of  Art in Nature

 

Nadalian in Green Museum

By carving simple fish shapes and other forms onto small stones and river rocks, artist Ahmad Nadalian seeks to repopulate the spirit of neglected streams and rivers in his native Iran and around the world and share these treasures with future generations.  more

 

Utne Magazine May-June 2006  USA

Ahmad Nadalian
[Iran]

A human who loves stones and water, Ahmad Nadalian moves like a fish transgressing international borders. 
 More

 

About Ahmad Nadalian

By Professor  Robert C. Morgan
 

"I was so impressed with your concept, working at low tide in the early mornings to carve signs that during the day would be concealed.  It calls into question so much about time, history, language, meaning, and sculpture." More

 

About Ahmad Nadalian

By : Edward Lucie-Smith
 

In Iran, Ahmad Nadalian (b.1963) is in the process of creating an immense River Art installation along the banks and amidst the waters of the Haraz River, near Mount Damavend More

 

Nadalian @ Dialogues in Diversity  

By John K. Grande

 

Utne Magazine May-June 2006  USA

Ahmad Nadalian
[Iran]

A human who loves stones and water, Ahmad Nadalian moves like a fish transgressing international borders. 
 More

Art in the Landscape

Marked in Stone and Sand

An Iranian sculptor brings his art to the river, beaches—and parks.

By Robert C. Morgan

 

 

Artist/Naturalist- Ahmad Nadalian
John Caddy

 

 

 

Nadalian @ Dialogues in Diversity  

By John K. Grande

 

The Death of Fish:  The River No Longer Has any Fish 

 

 

 

Report: Environmental Art Festival on the Persian Gulf

 

 

Art of Nadalian: I enjoy with this little fish...

Herman Prigann

 

 

 

The Inner Journeys and Visions

Note By
Sibyll  Kalff

 

Print on Sanin in Maranjab Desert

 

 

Work by Ahmad Nadalian @ Environmental Art Calender 2009 in USA

 

 

A Journey to Serbia

 



A Comment by American artist Abigail Doan

 

 

Ahmad Nadalian: Mediator of the Earth

 

 

This is a Good Way to Look Nature in the Future
To Ahmad Nadalian

Martin Bauer

 

Environmental Art in the Internet

Abstraction of form and content in the case of Ahmad Nadalian

 

 


 

MANNHEIM – WELTSTADT

 

A World-Citizen is seeding Symbols

 

Sibylle Zerr

 

 

Sibylle Zerr graduated in cultural anthropology from Heidelberg University, and works as an author and photo journalist. Her works have been published in magazines and newspapers, as well as in book form; her book debut "Blues für einen Schmetterling" (published 2006 in the German language), a collection of interviews, reportages, short stories and photos from pre-Katrina New Orleans, has been widely acclaimed.

 

Translated by: Sibyll Kalff, 2011

 

 

Like water splashing from a spring, the words pour out of Dr. Ahmad Nadalian. His eyes are sparkling under the wispy and wuschelige head, interwoven with silver hairs, similar to Titus, He is sitting well-behaved, hands on his knees, next to a water basin, looking like a temporary provisory, that he build in the  Foyer of the Mannheimer Goethe-Institute. Arriving as a language student in Mannheim, the Iranian multimedia artist and philosopher always incarnates his original avocation where ever he is: to set symbols, that are beyond any culture and language and internationally understandable and readable.

 

 

 

He is always carrying a set of chiseler's tools in a white linen bag with him, always ready to engrave his messages somewhere: fish, crabs, spirals, hands, feet, faces.

The photo exhibition on the walls of the Foyers inspired Dr. Nadalian to the spontaneous water-installation: portrays of language students, participating in courses of the Goethe-Institute, Faces from all possibly thinkable countries worldwide. Water is the mutual origin. It is the "urheimat" - the foundation of all life existing. Water in the Persian tradition is the mirror of the divine.  

 

 

 

Dr. Nadalian’s basin looks like some kid's waddling pool, this impression is created by the use of blue plastic foils.

Weirdly naive in this intellectual context. But especially and thus, the blue foil oval is attracting everyone's attention. The irritating waterbuses serve as nothing but the vehicle. It is the diving board.

 

In the few centimes deep puddle  - two plates of stone are placed, that have the imprints of human feet chiseled into, just as if Adam just stepped out of the waters, as if the creational act of human mankind would have been finalized right here and now, as if man already left paradise from right here, to conquer and to make the world tributan, his obedient slave.

It is not easy, to do the creator of this irritating little blue basin justice, Dr. Nadalian, who sits there that quietly and whose words are nevertheless like

He is homed in a little village, called Porlour, literally at the feet of the Damavand-mountain region, 68 kilometers from Teheran and at the same time he, the world citizen is constantly travelling the virtual and real world alike. Normally, he is forming his art directly in nature.

After his studies fine art, painting, at the University of Teheran, Dr. Nadalian studied philosophy at the »University of Central England« in Birmingham

 

Dr. Ahmad Nadalian

208

and finalized with a dissertation about mystic dimensions in the field of fine art.

 

Dr. Nadalian is teaching fine art, art history and philosophy in a pluriety of Iranian universities, works as an international web- and performance artist, as a painter and sculpture. Due to the photo-documentation of his land-art-project »The River Still Has Fish« represented on his homepage www.riverArt.net

 

 

Dr. Nadalian was internationally that well received and honored, that he was invited to the 50th biennale in Venice.

Rather close to his village, he chiseled his signs into the stony bed of the Haraz river. Hundreds of fish, over and under the waterline, that are only visible, depending on tidal conditions of the season, the precise coordinates of the installation concealed by Dr. Nadalian. But he left for everyone that detects his art his phone number and web address, chiseled into the stony riverbank.

Already  Natalia’s ancestors had their summer-camp in Polour alongside the river Haraz. Nadalian lived in Polour, too - during his studies of fine art, until he transmigrated to Europe for his studies of philosophy. He lived seven years abroad, being homesick for his paradise in the ´mountains of the river Haraz, because the untouched nature of his home country incarnated for him his ideals of paradise. The contamination of nature alludes to Nadalian to nothing else but the contamination of the human soul. In the industrial civilizations he saw and perceived evil, This was no world, he wanted to live in. He returned to his mountains and his river, where he was already playing as a child. Bt the paradise of his childhood and youth did not exist any longer. The wild and untamed river did not exist any longer, In some tired runlet swam nothing but and only plastic bags and garbage instead of any fish.

Even the skies seemed to have turned away..

No one seems to have more intensely called the heavens and to have prayed for rain. The river was nearly dried out.

The humans seemed to have lost all and any belief in the holiness of the waters and the elements.

Nadalian simply felt the need and desire, to give form and "gestalt" to his lost paradise. He started to chisel fish reliefs into the stony riverbed of the Haraz. In his imagination, all fish, that he created, were like living beings. But the modern technical did not even let the plantain-fish in the Haraz river survive. Bulldozer arrived in many places, to build new and more houses and streets, and destroyed Dr. Natalia’s recreated and reinvented paradise. Thus, even his stony 209 fish died. He then arranged a cemetery for his fish and gathered all the big stony quavers together, recollecting all the fish reliefs, chiseled into the big stony quavers, that the bulldozer destroyed. Sometimes he is walking hundreds of miles in the riverbeds, to find his fish and clean the dirt off the engravings, It became a ritual for him, to clean them with his sheer hands. Maybe, and until the end of his days, he will keep on living this ritualized tradition.

 

 

In Mannheim, Dr. Nadalian left his first signs in a water vein, located in the  Luisenparks. There, he chiseled in the beginning of September 2003 fish into the water washed diesel. While being at the Rhine, he continued to work on his

»River Art Project«.

 »The river Rhine still contains fish, and now, it contains even more«,he smilingly states and is plain happy, that the people in Germany still obviously did not give up the belief in the holiness of the waters and the elements, as he, chiseled into stone, ritzed into a layer of algae, cut into kiesel Dr, Nadalian handed his fish over to the landscape of the Rhine close to and around Mannheim, to serve as symbols for the never to be satisfied craving for knowledge of the human soul and its unrepeatable bondage with the creation.

 

 

 

Without the movements and the sound of the floating waters, his work would not express too much. He transformed the river in the art and the meaning of this art can only be seen in correlation with the cosmic order. According to an old mystic Persian ritual, that invokes the powers of life, it equals, when the waters are rising in spring and nearly dry out in summer and Dr. Natalia’s fish swim sometimes over and sometimes under the water. As exactly this visions stand in the pivotal focus of attention of his river-art.

 

One should listen much closer to the of the waters, to understand, that nature is to be honored and praised. Nadalian's fish, chiseled into the stony riverbeds arise the question, what happened to the real fish, and why they only return as artificial fish. Fish, the symbol of the waters, that ever returning symbol in Nadalian's cycles of works.

The stony quaders of the riverbanks of the Mannheimer Reißinsel host five of Nadalian's paradise fish, his hand and one crab.  

While people search for his art that they know from the pictures of his website they might discover something very precious additionally, explains Nadalian his intentions.

His work seems to be that inscrutable and neither

210

 

tractable, nor locatable, that one could believe, the silver hair streaks, that surround his head, would be fibers, like from some magical foggy field that surrounds the thoughts of the artist, to have them never ever really visible.

»It makes me happy, to keep humans busy«, confesses Dr. Nadalian and smiles abysmally.

 

 

 

 

Many of his works are that small and easy to transport, that one could carry them away as objects trove. One circle of kiesel was arranged by DR. Nadalian around a tree in the Luisenpark, a mystic circle full of universal signs like hand, foot, eye, cross, spiraled, sun and star. He transformed the tree thus into a »Tree of Humanity«: Dr. Nadalian is not irritated or feels disturbed, when his works vanish in the flow of times in any natural way, change or when they are sedimented by human hands. This would be nothing but a natural process. As natural as his fish reliefs being sometimes covered by the waters and sometimes not. would be a condition that connects Nadalian's work with humanity and being human. Very often, he is making drawings at the places, that he chose for his sculptural land art, that lie like yet undiscovered bases of natural resources within the landscapes, like some cultural act, hand and footprints with water on the stones, that after a short while evaporate and forever.

He is fascinated by the possibility that humans can find his works accidentally within the landscapes and would not know, whether it would be any prehistoric or postmodern works of art at all. They use his signs and symbol, They perceive them and create meaning. Any of time would not be necessary, as Nadalian wants to evoke meaning. The spectator shall not at all perceive his art to be pompous, but he appreciates, when people are surprised and wonder about their simplicity and originality, the meaning of his art would be relative always according to what any spectator would see into them or maybe would love to see into them. Thus the meaning transforms with each and every spectator, his individual and cultural background and his very one version, ways to read and perceive.

Nadalian watched peasants in the Iran, collecting his engraved kiesel and used them as warning signals for snakes on the paths. His signs would not be helplessly to the interpretations by humans, but they would on the contrary nearly demand for human interpretation.

211

 

 

 

 

His modest worldviews and appealingly simple work techniques expedite in his eyes the fundamental and basic situation of human existence into the light of day and furthermore then translocate them onto a mystic level.

Nadalian states, that in the cognition and the being recognized, a basic and fundamental condition for the optional interaction between cultures and nations. Between the digital documentation of his land art via internet and the appealingly primitive conditions of their origination with hammer and chisel in the riverbed, between the mystical dimensions of signs and symbols, that obliterate the interrelation of space, time and place and the simple allocation of simple meanings, Dr. Nadalian is straining and tensioning the oppositional fundamental conditions of mankind in the postmodern times to the extent of rupture.

 

Last, but not least, Nadalian states, that he himself is nothing but a representative of the postmodern man, that undertakes the spigot between local traditions and global communications, between his rural life in Iran and his world citizenship in its virtual and real space.

 

Under conditions, where seemingly nothing can be kept unseen and where humans can get in touch via the world wide web that not necessarily ever share or shared any common reality. Such an exchange functions via a virtual world, but can not be seen or understood in any abstract way, otherwise it would exist in "reality". We are long used to move around in a more or less abstract world, when we order goods via internet and pay with some plastic-cards. For Dr. Nadalian is this worldwide web nowadays as well a means to find likeminded humans, to exchange ideas and visions.

 

 

 

With this elective affinities, criteria as gender, color of the skin and age actually are of no further importance. The possibilities of the world wide web fundamentally and drastically changed the human communication, the art and the traditions of knowledge and the transmittance of knowledge.

»The contemporary knowledge reacts like water, running though your fingers.« Maybe something like a circuited civilization does not even exist any longer in the world of today. »I come from my village« states Nadalian, »I live and work there, but I am collaborating as well with other

212

Land-Art-Project »The River Still Has Fish«

213

 

humans in the global village.« Nadalian's water basin placed in the Goethe-Institute is long dried out, his stones in the Luisenpark are Tran located, but there is still fish in the Rhine. But there are two stones with the intercultural decipherable signs and symbols that Dr. Nadalian dedicated and left after his four weeks long stay while being a language student in September 2003, at the Goethe-Institute Mannheim. Since then, he is again "On the Waltz" - The world citizen that seeds symbols.

 

This story could take place allover the planet and everywhere - but nevertheless, it took place just and exactly like that in Mannheim, this little spot on earth, that approximately 308 000 humans call their hometown. Out of their very own thoughts and feelings, their dreams and deeds, the soul of the city is interfused - and could one perceive all voices chorused together simultaneously, there would be a whisper of gigantic dimensions over the roofs.

 

 

 

4

Bibliographic Information by the Deutschen Bibliothek:

The Deutsche Bibliothe/(Deutschen Nationalbibliografie;

you find detailed bibliographic information online under:

http://dnb.ddb.de

 

ISBN-10: 3-8334-6781-9

ISBN-13: 978-3-8334-6781-3

 

© Sibylle Zerr 2006

www.sibylle-zerr.de

 

All stories in this book are based on true events.

For protectional reasons, the author invented some names of the characters involved

and consciously concealed some of the settings. 

 

Picture Credits: Cabaret Deluxe: Page 30, 33, 36,

Dr. Ahmad Nadalian: Page 206,

212; All other photos by Sibylle Zerr

Cover design: Matthias Mikolasch

Publisher: Books on Demand GmbH, Norderstedt

Printed in Germany

 

»But you know - I love Mannheim. «

Charles Bukowski