Mythological Treasures or
The story of "Hidden Treasures" began when the people in Polour
started to excavate the place where I carved several images
and texts on the local rocks. They hoped to
find treasures there. According to a tradition in the north of Iran,
the images of fish or a snake on the rocks can be a sign of treasure.
I never ignored that my works are perhaps an indication of treasure
when I heard this story.
I used this
“accident” to produce a new collection of works. I have started to
bury many of my carved stones in the earth. I place my carving in the
bottom of a hole and then cover it with earth. The people who
excavate the place are confused as to why I cover the hole. They
often believe that there might be a treasure hidden at the site and
that I do not want other people to locate it. During the past ten
years I have wondered whether my personality is considered to be very
unusual by many local people. They know that I am trying to achieve a
valuable thing, but they do not know exactly know what it is. History
will witness that I take nothing from nature, but that I hide my
thoughts and intentions in nature and hope to produce treasures for
the next generations.
In the autumn
of 2006, Gottfried Junker, a German photographer who takes photos of
contemporary artists, came to Iran and Polour. He wanted to take
photos of me while I was working in nature. During our visit we
noticed that the people who search for treasures excavated one of the
sites where I had hid my carvings. They dug the ground to about four
meters depth. They not only had taken my carving that depicted a goat
but had also excavated the site further to find more buried
After I realized this, I carved a fish and buried it in the bottom of
hole, covering it again with earth. This entire process was documented
by Gottfried Junker.
I visited this site and realized that once again the treasure hunters
had excavated this same place again, and this time the hidden fish had
been removed. They even made a tunnel under a huge rock that depicts
an image of a snake.
shows that all these events take place at night, as I have discovered
at the site the remains of some batteries for light! According to
the law of Iran, such excavation is illegal. Nevertheless we continue
to have many illegal excavations. Currently the local people believe
that” the treasure” has been stolen, but in this instance the treasure
was simply the works of a contemporary artist. As a result of the
interest of Western collectors and museums that collect ancient
Iranian art and artifacts, many people who are not skilled
professionals excavate and damage these valuable archeological sites.
They usually take their finds with them out of Iran and sell them to
western collectors. In this instance I would say that no one should be
“the owner” of these works. They all belong to humanity, and they
should be taken back to their original sites and rightful places under
the earth. There are many more of my works widespread over sixty
countries across the globe.
Now I am
producing more carved stones and hiding them in the tunnel created by
the people who search for treasure. This time I carved inscription of
“0100101011” and the address of my web site: (www.RiverArt.net).
These recent inscriptions are a metaphor for the current global
language and media that define contemporary civilization. I hope that
the dealers of antiquities learn more about contemporary art.
In many instances, we,
people living now, are consumers of the art of the past.
sort of message do we send to the people of future generations?
is our heritage for them? The ugliest objects left in earth belong to
The above story has now changed my understanding of our earth.
me the earth and the museum are one in the same. Earth has always been
the cradle of civilizations and cultures. The objects and pieces that
can be found in and from the earth show the beliefs, life, and perhaps
most importantly, the beauty of the mind of people’s past.
To me, treasure
is not based on material value, but rather on immortal value, which
can conveyed by art. I believe there is an eternal and timeless
meaning beyond the physical aspects of nature.
there are any audiences in the future, my work will tell them the
story of life and of humanity.
I wish to achieve
a type of art that can be infinite in its medium and concept. I leave
my carvings under the earth as seeds and deep-rooted hopes that the
future will provide growth of a new culture. We should all cultivate
these ideas and work to make our earth richer.
This Map shows the locations of Nadalian's Works
around the glob. The blue points show the place where he carved
on the rocks and orange points show the countries in which his carvings
were buried. people and different
travelers carried out and buried his carvings in the earth. This project