Sara Naim lets her inside out at Hayward Gallery

“I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.”

Very much like Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis quoted above, Sara Naim is exploring the inside and the outside, the grand and the microscopic, the perception and the feeling, in her latest exhibition, ‘Heartstrings: a Kafkaesque inside out‘. The close up landscapes of what is human and what is natural intertwine and merge, reminding one that the inner self and the outside world are at times one, blurred via an ephemeral sense of touch. Once nerves and tendons that braced and sustained the heart, today Naim’s Heartstrings is an intimate exploration of a deep emotional response to one’s surroundings.

Each of the photographs in the series Metamorphic Masafi examine the ever-changing, textured surface of an actual metamorphic rock in the United Arab Emirates. Palm-sized photos are arranged in a pattern that evokes arrow slits, a modern peekaboo where the viewer is a curious observer of an ethereal medieval castle inside.

Sara Naim, 2015
Sara Naim, 2015

The series neighbours another artwork entitled Modes of Being, a projection of a texture, this time human – dead skin cells from the artist’s fingers that touched the rocks. Intimate and yet unrecognisable, the photos yet again remind one of the fleeting sense of touch. Thought-provoking photography romances sculpture. An up-close shot of the rock, Untitled, is sculpted into a stone under a thin layer of glass where one can eye his own anonymous reflection. And a few steps away, is a glimpse of the inside – Fabric of Human Body is an enlarged microscopy of a human heart and lung.

A small piece of the artist’s inside world exposed to the visitor is worthwhile spectacle indeed.

Sara Naim, 2015
Sara Naim, 2015

– Evgenia Plotnikova

Sara Naim ‘Heartstrings: a Kafkaesque inside out‘ is on view at Hayward Concrete Café until 27 September, 2015; Hayward Gallery at the Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX; Open Monday 12PM-6PM, Tuesday-Thursday 11AM-11PM, Friday-Saturday 11AM-12AM, Sunday 11AM-7PM; Admission: FREE

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