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Exploration of the (un) known : Shekine Naidi

Updated: May 1

Shekine Naidi is an Athens-based visual artist. She completed her studies at the School of Fine Arts of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2022. In 2018, she was granted a scholarship to pursue her artistic education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara, Italy (Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara), where she initially focused on sculpture and participated in various public art projects. Currently, she is furthering her studies as part of the postgraduate program in the Department of Fine Arts at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Throughout her career, she has been involved in several notable exhibitions and projects, including the INSPIRE project at MOMus-Experimental Center for the Arts in Thessaloniki, Greece in 2022, the group exhibition "DIATOMA" curated by Ioanna Kazaki at Acro Art Projects in Thessaloniki, Greece in 2022, and the group exhibition "Under the Same Sky, Around the Same Sea" featuring Greek and Turkish artists at the Nazim Hikmet Cultural Center in Istanbul, Turkey in 2022.

In the realm of contemporary art, Shekine Naidi emerges as a visionary artist whose work delves deep into the realms of cultural memory, symbolism, and human connections. Through her unique artistic approach, Naidi invites viewers on a captivating journey, where ancient materials, diverse cultural influences, and profound meanings intertwine to create a multisensory experience. Let us delve into the world of Shekine Naidi's art, where the past converges with the present, and the materials speak volumes about our (*collective) heritage.

Naidi's artistic journey is a profound rediscovery of her Greek and Iranian roots. Her work encapsulates the process of accepting and breathing new life into her cultural heritage. By seamlessly blending elements from different civilizations, she forges a path towards unifying cultures that may appear disparate at first glance. Naidi's art becomes a visual narrative, reinventing her roots through fresh perspectives and imbuing them with new meanings.

Central to Naidi's artistic expression is her careful selection and use of materials. Each material becomes the foundation of her work, bearing its own distinctive significance and symbolism. Naidi believes in harnessing the power of natural materials that have accompanied humanity throughout the ages, carrying within them a collective memory. From stone, representing immortality, to felt as a symbol of protection, and gypsum evoking care and healing, every material becomes a vessel for storytelling and reflection.

Beyond the materiality of her art, Naidi emphasizes the profound human connection that underlies her creations. She sees the utilization of ancient tools and raw materials as a means to understand the essence of our being and our journey towards wholeness. Her artworks transcend mere aesthetics, provoking contemplation on our past, history, roots, heritage, and cultural practices that have been overshadowed by modern living. By peering closer into her works, we find a focal point on the human being as a social and political entity, prompting an open discussion on identity and existence. She states;

“My first thoughts on the project began with the influence of anthropologist Marcel Mauss, who described the human body as an ideogram of its culture. "Human physiology is a historical event, where cultural meanings are always shaped and imprinted on the human body. Drawing inspiration from Marcel Mauss's ideas, the human body was positioned as a central axis of the work, serving as both a shaping force and a medium that is shaped’’

Naidi's artistic process involves exploring techniques and practices from diverse cultures, resulting in highly meaningful compositions. Her artwork becomes a visual dialogue that transcends borders, fusing different artistic traditions and visual languages. The compositions she creates evoke curiosity and a profound desire to learn and explore. They serve as aesthetic interventions in our present, inviting contemplation on the spaces we inhabit and their inherent aesthetics.

Shekine Naidi's art carries us on a remarkable journey of cultural memory, human connections, and aesthetic exploration. Through her meticulous choice of materials, she breathes life into ancient traditions, infusing them with contemporary relevance. Her artworks convey a strong desire to engage with remnants of the past, seeking to reexamine historical events and experiences from a contemporary perspective. Naidi's unique artistic vision opens up a dialogue between the past and the present, inviting us to embrace a multicultural perspective and fostering a sense of familiarity, perhaps rooted in a primal memory. With every composition, Shekine Naidi offers us an artistic experience that goes beyond the surface, immersing us in the rich tapestry of human existence. Her current exploration, Shekine seeks to delve into the realm of artistic expression by merging performance, sculpture, and video art into a cohesive hybrid creation.


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