By Laman Ismayilova
An exhibition "Sick. Love. Nature" opened in ARTIM Project Space on July 18.
The exhibition features works of YARAT residents Ozan Atalan (Turkey), Ilkin Huseynov (Azerbaijan) and Ehtiram Jabi (Azerbaijan), Azertag reported. The works of young artists aroused great interest of viewers.
Their art works are linked by their interest in the artificial. What remains if the wedding romance is viewed from a business point of view reduced to numbers? How does the rapidly expanding urbanization and digitalization of the landscape influence our perception of nature? Captured in group dynamics, can one differentiate between collective and one's own states? Through themes of love, illness and nature, the residents explored the range of what we consider to be "true" and "artificial" and whether a binary separation is even reasonable.
Ilkin Huseynov’s work Toykhana presents in a multi media project the most popular event of the Azerbaijani culture and tradition: the wedding. The artist investigates through a documentary approach and research of statistics how the once modest traditional ritual, with manageable numbers of guests, has mutated into a mega-event and a decadent circus that demands disproportionate spending and consumption often leading to high levels of debts of the families.
His work consists of photographs of the salon architectures, wedding commodities such as cars or dresses, collected numbers and an installation of actual food leftovers. It becomes a sensual experience of the Baroque "Vanitas" idea, which in itself carries the meaning of "empty appearance, nothingness, vanity" or even "lie, bragging, failure or futility" combining beauty, decay and transience.
Ehtiram Jabi series of works entitled Coma examine the metaphoric condition of this sickness from personal to collective states. The installation objects and situations in his photographs are known from everyday life, but he personalizes and transforms them into objects of power that stage melancholic, lethargic group mechanisms.
"I feel that I have lived almost half of my life. And I have spent this period in airless, lightless and colorless environment. I have always been suppressed by something. I have always stopped when trying to do something different. And I have always wanted to escape to somewhere else. Something holds me back all the time", said artist.
Ozan Atalan’s installation "The Felt Reality" questions theories of perception in a surrounding of rapid-change and information overload.
The artist, however, is not interested in the cultural constructed dualism between "cyber" or "reality", which opposes terms such as information and logic to terms of feelings and imagination, but to look at the process of transformation as a whole, in specific how the theory of "speculative aesthetics" is proposing:
"The World is both subject to human transformation and natural transformation, and from the perspective of speculative aesthetics, changes in politics and changes in nature are in a content interconnection. Taking Azerbaijanis history and geography, and urban changes in Baku as material, my works offer an independent co-existence of natural and cultural units questioning the possibility of building a culture based on respect to nature, and ignoring the culturally constructed duality between nature and culture," he said.
Photographer Ilkin Huseynov (b. 1988, Ganja, Azerbaijan) predominantly works on prevailing social issues of modern Azerbaijan. He graduated from EFTI School of Photography in 2015 and is currently based in Madrid. Huseynov was a finalist of London Photography Festival, won a second place in the PowerHouse Books competition and was nominated for the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund. The artist is a co-founder of Riot Books, an independent Publishing House, specialised in Handmade Limited edition Artist’s Books. His publications and works have been featured both nationally and internationally in venues such as Anzenberger Gallery Vienna, Austria; Recyclart Art Center Brussels, Belgium; Athens Photo Festival Greece; Istanbul Phonebook festival Turkey; Delhi Photo Festival, India or Grid photo fest, Amsterdam, Holland.
Ozan Atalan (b. 1985, Gelibolu, Turkey) studied law between 2003-2007 at Anadolu University Faculty of Law. In 2008, Ozan began his art practice at the Dokuz Eylul University School of Fine Arts. He earned his BFA in 2013 and was soon thereafter granted a Fulbright Scholarship for the MFA Program at Syracuse University. As a result of this process, he earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University Visual and Performing Arts in 2016. Ozan`s work has been exhibited in both nationally and internationally esteemed venues such as Trekhgornaya Manufaktura – Moscow, Siemens Art Gallery, Kedi Culture and Arts Center, Cetin Emec Art Gallery, Spark Contemporary Art Space, K2 Contemporary Art Center, Goethe Institute, Pera Museum, Istanbul.
Ehtiram Jabi (b. 1996, Baku, Azerbaijan) passion in photo journalism enabled him to partner with Reuters, ANN, RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service where some of his works were published. Ehtiram’s photo series called "On the top", "White swan", "Veterans" were released in leading local portals. Participation in 2014 in Yarat Summer School with Magnum Photography (Thomaz Dworzak, Chien-Chi Chang) and photographer David Montgomery played a major role in his work. In 2015 during the exhibition, "Friendship of Peoples" in Moscow was invited to speak at a creative meeting, and in the same year received a prize from the Union of Photographers of Azerbaijan Award "Hope". In 2017, he finished work on his first full-fledged project "Polio". His works were displayed in-group exhibitions in Russia, Georgia. Currently based in Baku and working on different personal photo projects.
The exhibition will last until August 12.
Address: ARTIM Project Space Old City (Icherisheher) Boyuk Gala Street 30, 001A
Admission is free.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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