WHEN HEARTSTRINGS COLLAPSE: Sara Naim
The Third Line is pleased to present When Heartstrings Collapse, Sara Naim’s first solo show with the gallery. Sara’s interest in micro images, particularly that of skin cells, investigate the perception of boundaries and proportion. On a cellular scale all space is merged and the only variation is the different densities of matter. The photographs and sculptures of these micro worlds prompt an idea of something much larger or vaster, creating a discerning play on synchronicity and corporeality.
‘Heartstrings’ was first used in non-anatomical literature in the late fifteenth century to describe the nerves and tendons thought to keep the heart in place. Plato (427–347 BC) located the spirited part of the soul, which governed behaviours we now term emotions, in the heart, and associated the throbbing of the heart in emotional situations with an intensification of the heart's heat (and with such terms as ‘surrounded by the warmth of love’, ‘the heat of anger’, and ‘cool disdain’). (The Oxford Companion to the Body, 2001, Oxford University Press)
The individual artwork titles in this exhibition—Shudder, Tense, Tremble, Chill, Pallor, Sweat, Twitch, Choke and Blush—originate from physical/bodily manifestations of emotions. This continues the play between inside and outside bodily tensions, as well as the ambiguity connected with it, all concepts that Sara explores in her practice.
Using the Scanning Electron Microscope, the black and white photographs in the exhibition are taken from scans of Sara’s dead skin cells collected from her fingertips—the point of our body that connects us to the external world through that sense of touch; and the point at which we physically grasp the things around us. The artist deliberately manipulates the glitch effect that appears through scanning accidents; as well includes external elements that materialised when she photographed the monitor that was imaging the dead skin cells. The colour photographs are a combination of a digital file of Sara’s hand and a screen grab of a computer glitch which occurred while she was editing a dead skin cell image, both which were later converted into photographic film. Sara explores the symbolism of layering, accidental glitches and chance digital versus analogue encounters, and uses them to represent what she feels is an apt description of the human body.
In addition to the photographic images, the exhibition also includes floor sculptures that produce distorted reflections, allowing the viewer to reconsider what they see and perceive. High voltage rubber cable wires become their support system, speaking of disconnections and connections, and the potential of moving energy. These cables also indicate towards the anatomy of the human body. Their participation makes them components of the exhibit’s broken information and glitch format, and Sara’s engagement with the body as an indeterminate expanse.