7th of June 2013 / 6.00-9.00 pm (by invitation only)Opening
8th of June 2013 / 6.00-9.00 pmExhibition
9th of June - 13th of July 2013
The Barbarian Art Gallery as well as the curator of the show Sandra Nedvetskaia are proud to present a solo show by the young Azerbaijani artist Aida Mahmudova. Under the title Internal Peace the artist presents for the first time in Switzerland her impressive narrative work, which is directly inspired by the Azerbaijani history in relation with the artist’s personal experience and identity, illustrating her considerations in the fields of memory and nostalgia.
Aida’s Mahmudova’s artwork delves into the emotive facets of ‘longing’ – specifically, the longing for the memory of a place, rather than for the place itself. Simultaneously the artist meditates on how memory is tied to the debris of the past.
Her paintings and accumulations present history as a collection of mementos, which appear fragmented and partial, and are accessible only through the mediation of personal perceptions and emotional responses. By focusing on an individual perspective within a larger, historical narration, the compositions redress how history
is perceived and memory evolves. The situations Mahmudova depicts are retrieved scenes, eyewitness of places and situations, which have undergone a drastic change. Through her work the artist invites the viewers to participate in the experience of remembering.
"My art is a constant and continued investigation of my memory, as it informs my identity. The touchstone of this search and the main source of my inspiration are the forgotten, un-touched, and un-developed locations in Azerbaijan. Our physical world is shifting at a pace so rapid that our memories are frequently blurred, and our ‘remembered’ past is often forgotten or altered by our subconscious. This confuses our identity. These un-modernized locales function as a ‘missing link’. They are a fulcrum that connects the actual past with the remembered past. They are the fabric of my identity – the fiction and the reality, the memory and the present moment, the subconscious and the conscious. Physically experiencing the concrete reality of these sites allows me to re-experience and re-visit the places of my past. These encounters help me to re-capture the past within the present moment. The tangible relics of Azerbaijan’s past are timeless and transient, universal and specific, and they are the fabric I use to give material form to the intangible memories that inform my present identity and my art."
Aida’s paintings are composed of muted hues. The depicted scenes are shrouded in a hazy mist, which combines real and reminescent sites from old Baku and the Absheron Peninsula. The accumulations are built from fragments of half-remembered moments of the past era.
Through her installations the artist attempts to capture what cannot be completely recalled. She presents a visual and experiential meditation on the spatial and temporal labyrinth of time and captures the essence of a ‘diasphora of memory’. This retrospection is locally based in Aida’s native Azerbaijan, nonetheless it unfolds further recollections related with the artist’s experience in foreign lands. The result is the expression of a sense of longing for a memory that has been evolved and layered over time.
In an era of rampant technological and urban development, as well as mass globalization and migration, Mahmudova aims to illustrate how nostalgia can no longer refer to a specific geographical location or to a specific context and how it embraces reminescent sensations, sensual perceptions, smells, sounds, which appear like debris of a past life.
Aida Mahmudova (*1982 Baku) graduated in Fine Art from the Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London. She works with different media, including painting, photography and installation. Aida is also the organizer and founder of Yarat Contemporary Art Space in Baku, a non-governmental organization, which aims to support and develop contemporary Azerbaijani art nationally and abroad. Mahmudovas’s artwork has been shown in important exhibitions in Europe, as in the MAXXI Museum in Rome, in the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow and at Philips de Pury & Company in London.
Alessandra Ruggieri De Micheli