Nja Mahdaoui’s Approach to Arabic Letters

“By freeing the letter from its constraints (of schools, style and form), I have relied on my own intuition not to reproduce words or texts, but rather to create graphic signs (letters or fragments of letters). They are free and universal ‘calligrams’ or ‘graphemes’ emptied of any dialectic content, used to construct abstract compositions bearing their own aesthetic and meaning.

While exclusively working on form, regardless of its meaning, I enjoy the freedom of presenting endless aesthetic combinations.
Letters are to be seen as foundation and structure; they are endowed with nobility, and are not simply objects likely to be viewed in terms of narrow definitions of a culture.

What I try to achieve is to prevent viewers from making any intellectual recognition or from achieving visual relief while relying on the reassuring meaning of the words, but rather to help them trigger new thought processes and resort to fancy and intuition while seeking the meaning of the artwork.
In fact, reading activates thinking and breaks with the immediate and sensual individual-work relationship. I would like to offer a kind of communion, may it be temporary, where these abstract letters become bridges linking cultures.

This absence of significance is prompted by an urge for insubordination and artistic digression with regards to the traditional schools of calligraphy.

Having suspected the danger of uniform aesthetics, I have transgressed the rigidity of academic rules as they vehicle codes of earlier times.

Therefore, my approach is based on the principle of epistemological demarcation and not on any will to break with my cultural heritage.”

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