The New York TimesJune 12, 2009
Pouran Jinchi’s “Prayer Stone 5” is currently on view in Light of the Sufis: The Mystical Arts of Islam at the Brooklyn Museum, and the show is reviewed by Holland Cotter in The New York Times
Few practitioners attain so radical a state of absorption. But the desire to find lightness of heart — to have old spirit-killing depressions and anxiety-causing attachments melted away — continues. Sufism is very much part of any full definition of Islam today. And today is where “Light of the Sufis” leaves us, with two contemporary works.
One, called “Prayer Stone 5,” is by Pouran Jinchi, an artist who was born in Iran and now lives in New York City. It consists of overlaid rubbings that Ms. Jinchi took of two carved stones in a Shia shrine in the holy city of Mashhad in Iran. One stone was inscribed with the name of Allah, the other with prayers for peace directed to a revered leader in the Shia line of spiritual succession.
In and around the lacelike patterns left by the rubbings, Ms. Jinchi has added something of her own: words from Muslim daily prayers written over and over in a minute calligraphic hand, their repetition being the physical equivalent of the Sufi practice of constantly reciting the names of God.