Sfeir-Semler Gallery is pleased to invite you to the opening reception of the Timo Nasseri exhibition on Tuesday September 6th 2012, 7 - 10 p.m. "O Time Thy Pyramyds" is the second solo show at Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg. This is a collective opening of all Hamburg galleries on the occasion of the start of season.


Timo Nasseri’s sculptures and drawings are set between poetry and the discovery of infinity, possibilities, and universes on a mathematic basis. The exhibition’s title quotes „The Library of Babel“ by Jorge Luis Borges. “Oh time thy pyramids” is the only decipherable sentence in a book made of „a mere labyrinth of letters“ of this Babylonian library. It contains the entire universe, endless and unreadable. Only a possibility suffices for it to exist.

The theme of infinity drives Tomo Nasseri. This is already apparent in his earlier groups of works, „Muqarnas“, „Epistrophy“, „Glance“ and the drawing „One and One“.

His new, fragile-looking sculptures, numerous drawings, small-scale wall-objects, or the wooden sculpture composed of interlaced rectangles appear to be scientific models on first glance. Here Nasseri draws the attention from the oriental mathematic philosphy to questions and answers of the quantum theory. Ultimately the quantum theory leads to the belief in not only one, but infinite parallel existing universes.

Another motif appearing in sculptures such as the delicate-looking „Drill cores“ and several drawings is the „Not-Yet“ or „Not-Here“. Like a play with possibilities which refer ad infinitum.

The "Drill cores" are soldered of many thin, copper-alloyed steel poles of various length. The poles- copper glossy or velvet black which caused from corrosion -  build a structure of different density. The mazy appearance of these objects stimulate the structure seeking gaze  and catches it. But it is again and again collapsing in he view of the haywire. It remains uncertain wether there is an underlying structure or if it is not recognizable due to the small section. The question of the conditions of cognitive attainment is at stake.

The many precisely elaborated drawings in a book-like format are hung in blocks. They seem to be calculations from a math-, physics- or geography book. The artist uses formulas and models like a language. Their components (line, dot, cuve, letter, number and cartographic elements) are associated in a way that allows an understanding reanactment but keeps them from readability or calculability.

Looked at from the front, the wall-objects catch your eye with symmetry and clarity. But a minor change of perspective, a shift from the median axis lets the impression crumble and the object deforms amorphously. The anamorphosis however tells of a different, shifted reality. As does for example Holbein’s „The Ambassadors“.

There lies the difference from sculptures of Minimal Art, i.e. those of Sol LeWitt, unless the appalling similarity at first sight. Those are based on the repeatability of series based on logical premises that are principally closed, thus finite.

Nasseri opens up a perspective for the fantastic and poetic through his playful usage of scientific revelations, i.e. the mathematic infinity. Scientific practices are quoted and applied to and remodeled by artistic practice. Thus, the will to think differently becomes a visible and aesthetical experienceable.


Timo Nasseri was born 1972 in Berlin. There he studied photography. Amongst different promotional awards he received the Abraaj Capital Art Price in 2011. His art has been seen in various group-exhibitions such as “Wunder”, Hamburger Deichtorhallen and Kunsthalle Krems, and „Sculpture is Everything“ at Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Braisbane, Australia. In September 2012 a catalogue of his oeuvre has been published by Distanz Verlag, Berlin. Timo Nasseri lives and works in Berlin.


Text: Ulrike Heidelbach