YARAT Contemporary Art Space has opened an exhibition “Heaven Can Wait” by Azerbaijani artist Aida Mahmudova.
Rector of the Baku branch of Moscow State University, Vice-President of the National Academy of Sciences, academician Nargiz Pashayeva, Deputy Culture Minister, People’s Artist Murad Huseynov, founder of the YARAT Contemporary Art Space, famous artist Aida Mahmudova, editor-in-chief of the NARGIS magazine Ulviya Mahmud, as well as prominent public figures, well-known representatives culture and art, creative youth attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition, Azernews reports.
In order to explore all the possibilities of our existence, we have to turn to art and the social sciences. While there are universal values of art, we must not forget that our literary and visual context is strictly local. The following point is essential: The reality in which a person feels himself/herself most profoundly is the artistic reality that leads us to the universal reality. Here, Aida Mahmudova takes us to a kind of landscape, to the reality of the landscape, to save us from the claustrophobia of the self.
Although the reality of the landscape that the artist created at the center of the “Heaven Can Wait” exhibition may seem personal and difficult to understand at first glance, the artist critiques the pathology of the self. On the one hand, life stands before us in all its anatomical reality, and in some cases, life appears as much more than a landscape. On the other hand, trying to separate life from the landscape will also lead us to a kind of alienation. All life, all personal or social history, takes place in a landscape, in geography, and there is always some place that resonates in our memory.
Mahmudova states that geography is an essential dimension of civilization, and that people can be contacted within this geography. Two large canvases at the center of the exhibition tell us about geography and its diversity and importance, while also drawing our attention to its beauty and horror. These canvases, which symbolize the beginning and the end, also contain clues about the past and the future. The paintings, which are in harmony with the fragmentary structure of our age, mark an organism’s return to its original point after its entire natural cycle (birth, life, and death).
While the artist depicts the world by looking at humanity, she also affirms our shared experience through herself. It is a call made by Mahmudova: The power of art summons and affects our minds, nerves, memories, emotions, and, ultimately, souls. She expresses our existence in the world through the negative castings of the molds she took from her own body and the volumes they occupy in the void. She also conveys hope in her canvases and surface works that she hangs from the ceiling. In these landscapes, we can see our memories as well as glimpses of our future. In her works, she proclaims that through art, we can fight material and spiritual evils, and communicate the ideals of the past, present, and future. Mahmudova shows us the universal importance and power of art because she makes people remember their lives and their history with her works.
Art no longer confines itself to describing, measuring, and analyzing the world as it appears. Mahmudova believes that geography and memory are too abstract to be presented in a naturalist way. While Mahmudova’s works convey that art contributes to the world’s renewal, she states that modern time and space are insecure and introverted. Therefore, the world is depicted as an open composition on the edges of the canvases. Her works can be a means of discovery and expression for the audience; she calls for greater openness and creativity where barriers to meaning are removed.
With a courageous pioneering action, Mahmudova shows us that humanity can transcend borders with appropriate skills and tools. As a result, the exhibition seeks to cross physical and conceptual borders. Unless we cross these borders, we will not have humanist geography. A careful look at the works will provide us with significant clues to understand a little bit about how this can happen, and if we dare.
YARAT Contemporary Art Space is delighted to present “The Seventh Solitude”, a remarkable group exhibition that brings together the captivating works of a talented ensemble of Azerbaijani artists, including Huseyn Hagverdiyev, Tarlan Gorchu, Orkhan Huseynov, Ramal Kazim, Novruz Mammadov, Faraj Rahmanov, Eltaj Zeynalov, Ismail Safarali, and Nadir Eminov. This exhibition showcases both commissioned pieces by YARAT and other works created by these artists in recent years.
Drawing inspiration from Nietzsche’s enigmatic concept of the “Seventh Solitude”, the group exhibition endeavors to connect the fundamental values of modern estrangement, presence, and eternal return within the social context.
In today’s fast-paced modern world, despite the abundance of people, close interactions do not necessarily enhance opportunities for communication. The prevalent “conveyor production” of socio-psychological stereotypes, preferences, evaluations, behavioral patterns, and perceptions tends to erode individual differences, ultimately resulting in the fragmentation of one’s personality. It becomes evident that within the framework of modern society, attaining the state of the “seventh solitude” necessitates a specific social context. Solitude, in this sense, extends beyond physical separation and encompasses a spiritual dimension detached from society. Within this framework, the central theme of the exhibition revolves around the quest for the elusive “seventh solitude” experienced by individuals who deliberately seek solace in seclusion.
The exhibition explores the progression from the initial notion of “solitude” to a more profound and transformative state known as the “seventh solitude”. This evolving state, seen as a conscious choice, is intertwined with concepts such as freedom, the Path towards self-realization, and the essence of existence. It delves into the intricate connections between these concepts, inviting contemplation on the profound implications they hold for individual experiences. Centering around solitude as its primary focus, the exhibition brings attention to the individual’s personal experiences and observations that guide them towards the realm of the Supernatural. It also underscores the integral aspects that form part of this transformative Path, such as freedom, value systems, goals and aspirations, truth and power, obedience, instincts, and more. Through the exploration of solitude, the exhibition delves into the notion of personal belonging, accentuating its exceptional significance and superiority over alternative social environments.
Curated by Farah Alakbarli, the exhibition will last until October 22, 2023.