Moments of Glory is an installation which revives one of the most commonly accepted forms in contemporary art, neon, the mere use of which seems to immediately qualify any production as a work of art. If we compare it to Bruce Nauman’s original aim when he created his first neon back in 1967 (1), to make something that would not appear to be art, the formula might raise a smile, since the medium has become so widespread as to add the aesthetic equation “neon equals art”.
Beyond merely a form that may question by means of cliché the notion of a work of art, Leila Pazooki’s multi-coloured tube writing reveals the parallels that are too easily drawn between some great names in Western art history and other artists from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Might it then be possible to discover an Iranian Jeff Koons, an Indian Damien Hirst, a Dali from Bali, or even a Renoir from South Africa? There are so many quotes from the press that reveal a certain reluctance to consider every artistic production independently, without an accompanying reference to some supposed Western counterpart.
Is this laziness on the part of the critic unable to grasp an artwork outside of his own value system? Is it the desire to assert the supremacy of the Western art scene over the rest of the world? Or does it show the stigmas created by the globalization of the art world from a Western point of view? Leila Pazooki explores the complexity of aesthetic relationships defined according to their geographical context between coming together, subsidence and separation.
Translated by Theodora Taylor
(1) Bruce Nauman, The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths (1967)