Mohammad Khalili

Forbidden Zone

Memento Mori
This potent nature, this huge and moist eye of the fields , these deep-rooted heathers over the wilderness of imagination , this dark light of the sky and the rigid stone , would be susceptible to the painter's unstable hand , and keep the painter's hand rotating in the workshop's air.
In this landscape, what would be there but the feeling of immersion in a grand reservoir of matter and spoil, as if within few minutes night would throw its worn out and black net over the moist horizon of the meadow? Here every beat of darkness reveals the opaque clarity of a night of which one inhales with each deep breath , every beat dissolves object into object , greenness into blackness, being in non-being - a time without stairs , without a reservoir , without stones , when an insect has hidden its tiny body in the darkness of the darkest meadow , "a time without objects" , a time without words.
As such, unable to forget ,deny or wait, a landscape is revealed by the painter's hand. You say :Meadow , and I get immersed in its dark light . You say: things and I intermingle with the vacuum. You , surprised, ask : migration? And I don't find a road, even its traces on the grass.
So Mohammad Khalili’s paintings might be representations of a qualitative space , a space without shadows whose behavior changes according to the spirit of the personages therein , a space within , but identified as a blade of grass , stone, voice, a space where far away a dog is hurling , a space where a humane understanding of death intermingles with nature , a space which can be nowhere except in a picture : a picture against which we stand within a given distance and recollect its familiar or strange shapes.
What is the one with silent movements who is meditating over the stone, the barren earth and the sleepy meadow, searching for if his presence is not embraced by a voice:"Memento Mori", which mutes his footsteps? If he is not attracted to "this side" by the death's voice? If death is not stretching its long invisible hand from "the other side” towards him as a friendly gesture? Here the spirit is impassioned for the impenetrable stone , here the dark of the meadow resigns to lightning's white arm ,here out of the vertical container of death a drum is rambling , here, in the cool breeze of this plateau , always here,” the chime of our time's bell summons human beings as mortals to the presence of god”.*
But the painter, without imprisoning himself in a suffocating abstraction, an abstraction which hollows things of their being , selects the ingredients of his magic potion of imagination among the familiar objects in the world : The same colossal stone which some night has fallen upon the uprooted ground of existence. The same concrete block of death which entombs the dead grass, the metal which can't survive the rusting of time and absorbs in itself the humid sky, the same green darkness of the grass, reclining over the impatient skin of the earth, the time which is no time , when the sky is ready to pour.
Maybe a water pomp which is beating the frightening music of time has interrupted the silence of this unfamiliar landscape, or a hammer which is beaten on the naked iron container, or a grass which is still breathing, or an insect which dwells in the eternity of the earth, or maybe suddenly a loud ear-racking voice from the sky, who knows, the painting is silent about all these, it's about a thin canvas which invites you to get immersed in dreams, in a voiceless voice.
Far away within, but so close , a heavy stone is dropped over the meadow's livelihood , I don't know , maybe some other time the painter himself would reveal for me the secret which he has heard of the stone and the meadow ,later , when language is obliterated and the mortals have penetrated the stone... But now I stand in front of this picture, adjust my distance, cover my eyes from the intruding lights and ask: Oh the Spectre over the stone! Who are you?
Vahid Hakim
*a quotation from Heidegger