7 April 2013
Review of Adel Abdin’s Blue Print in Maraya Art Centre .
It has been a while since I walked into an art gallery. A feeling of excitement and adventure started to take over me as I walked into a carefully lit room where a single artwork was exhibited. The room felt industrial yet clean, exposed ceiling structure, white clean walls with dark corners, and the echo of silence. A single Blue Print extending east to west hanging from the ceiling, floating over the grey tone ground was carefully celebrated. “A time machine!” I wondered as I carefully started looking at its details before the sound of machines started echoing in the room and filling my imagination.
The Blue Print created by the Iraqi-Finnish artist Adel Abidin, is a beautiful representation of what I think is the evolution of technology and machine. A journey through time of human evolution and ingenuity as it depicts reality and perhaps predicts the future. It starts East, representing the early 1900’s technology and industry of intricate parts coming together for a function. As you move toward the middle, the machine seems to get cleaner in design and simpler in a modern way. West is where the machine ends with a simple element, perhaps depicting the future? The sound effects that fill the room add another dimension to the experience as it complements the different sections of the machine.
It is an artwork that demands your attention and time to stand by and admire the work. The longer you look, the more details you explore and the more appreciative you become for the effort and dedication of the artist. Yet, as I was absorbing the work, I started to wonder on other ways the work could’ve been done. The machine seems to be too computerized. It felt like a machine developed and drawn by a machine. It lacked, what I believe, the human touch. Everything was digitally drawn and developed; while I would imagine parts of it could’ve been hand drawn, especially the parts related to the early stages of the machine. It would’ve been a strong representation of the human skills and complex thinking where machines were simple at their early stages. Even though the sound effects were a strong and positive element of the experience, a verse made that experience fall apart. I couldn’t help but notice that it sounded like the 1940’s Hollywood sound effects of technology noises predicting life in the year 2000. It was an unreal sound that lowered my experience a little.
“Blue Print”, is an artwork to be printed in your mind for many years to come. It is an artwork of great interpretation and message, a great presentation and experience that will capture your senses and imagination. Even though each individual might have his or her little ideas and perhaps changes to the artwork, the work is a powerful machine that serves its function.