June 9 – July 13, 2013
Exclusive Preview: June 7, 2013, 18:00 – 21:00 (by invitation only)
Opening: June 8, 2013, 18:00 – 21:00
Barbarian Art Gallery
Limmatstrasse 275 CH-8005 Zürich
P +41 44 280 45 45, F +41 44 280 45 47
Opening Hours: Wed – Fri 11:00 – 19:00 / Sat 11:00 – 17:00
The Barbarian Art Gallery and this show’s curator 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 to 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, and eyewitnessed places and situations, which have undergone a drastic change. Through her work the artist invites the viewers to participate in the experience of remembering.
Aida’s paintings are composed of muted hues. The depicted scenes are shrouded in a hazy mist, which combines real and reminiscent 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 to the artist’s experience in foreign lands. The result is the expression of a sense of longing for a memory that has evolved and been 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 reminiscent sensations, sensual perceptions, smells and 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