Azerbaijan’s Culture Center in Vienna has hosted the launch of ‘Landscaped’ exhibition of talented Azerbaijani artist Aida Mahmudova.
Participants in the ceremony included Austrian public figures, artists, and representatives of the diplomatic corps.
Director of the Culture Center Leyla Gasimova, addressing the opening ceremony, highlighted works of Aida Mahmudova.
The ceremony then featured a concert program.
The Founder and Creative Director of YARAT Contemporary Art Space, Mahmudova graduated from Central Saint Martins in London with a degree in Fine Art in 2006. To date, her works have been exhibited internationally, including at the MAXXI in Rome and the 55th Venice Biennale for the exhibition ‘Love Me, Love Me Not’ (which later traveled to Baku), amongst numerous others.
Her works were also the subject of a solo exhibition at the Barbarian Art Gallery in Zurich in 2013.
Drawing inspiration from the landscape and architecture of Azerbaijan, Mahmudova works in installation, sculpture and painting to capture forgotten and marginal corners of her rapidly modernizing country. The core of these works involves repurposed and abandoned architectural features, formed into installations, as well as paintings of empty sites on the outskirts of Baku.
Seeking to commemorate a moment in time through these subjects, her works act to counter the ongoing experience of transience, yet they simultaneously celebrate items which are themselves on the cusp on disappearing. As such, Mahmudova preserves the sense of ephemerality that permeates a country already layered with past civilizations and rapid modern development.
Central to Mahmudova’s work is the tension between fiction and reality and the fascination with memory and the impermanence of identity. To Mahmudova, identity is formed by memory, which is continually altered and ‘re-remembered’ over time.
The landscapes and architectural relics externalize this sense of change and reflect underlying tensions experienced by the generation who experienced Azerbaijan’s independence in 1991.
In 2011, Aida Mahmudova founded YARAT, a not-for-profit contemporary art organization based in Baku. YARAT is dedicated to nurturing an understanding of contemporary art in Azerbaijan, and creating a platform for Azerbaijani art both nationally and internationally. The organization also produces a comprehensive program of exhibitions and education. In 2012 she launched YAY Gallery, a social enterprise which shares proceeds between exhibiting artists and YARAT projects.
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