Reza Nik Studio
an experimental architecture practice


A weekly piece reflecting on current thoughts, theories, research and sometimes creative writing.

[one eye open, one eye closed]

A quote I’ve been thinking more about in the past few weeks is one I heard from Max Ernst, a German painter, sculptor, and poet who is often associated as one of the pioneers of the Dada and Surrealist art movements of the early 20th century. During an interview on BBC in 1961 he said:

”…..seeing means usually you open your eyes and you look to the outside world, ….. you close your eyes and you look to the inner world……I believe the best to do is to have one eye closed and to look inside……. and with the other you have it fixed on reality and what is going on around the world…if you can combine these two worlds you could have a synthesis of the objective & subjective world….”

I believe in this, and I’m slowly discovering that this way of working is what I have been trying to explore and missing for the past 6 or so years. I didn’t know it at the time when I began to experiment with this technique in architecture school and I certainly didn’t know it while I was frustrated and depressed when I wasn’t working this way much in the past 4-5 years. I do not consider this way of working a compromise but the right balance between [research, theory, input] and [self-reflective creation & output]. In my interpretation, my open eye is always curious, critical, and researching the current issues which I’d like to address, and my closed eye is being aware of myself, my inner creative desires and my unconscious or ‘gut’ - with these two eyes, I am constantly experimenting with finding the right balance between how much one is closed, and how much the other is open…..

I don’t know if I have an answer to that, or if I ever will …. but I’ll continue to experiment with various techniques in order to learn and to reflect on this process as it relates to my creative practice and my position within architecture.

Reza Nik