YARAT Contemporary Art Space presents the experimental performance “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ME” of the three artists Vusal Rahim, Vugar Guliyev, Aysel Amirova and the theater group ADO in the frames of ARTIM Project.
The experimental performance will run at ARTIM Project Space until December 30
YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ME is an experiment that aims to encourage visitors to understand the meaning of the works from the artists’ point of view by entering into the shoes of the other instead of treating the works as a subject of observation.
The project consists of the cooperation by three artists with the theatre group ADO who worked together on a participatory performance. This shoe-shifting experiment seeks to take out our selves from our comfortable, known position taking the risk to step out into the unknown and changing the angle of our usual view.
The project is accompanied by a brochure that includes quotes of a social media discussion related to understanding contemporary art and a psychological article investigating in the question why we want to be understood.
Vusal Rahim explores the imagery of Michelangelo’s Pieta that depicts Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus. In the video work “Pieta” the artist becomes himself the subject taking the position of the Madonna of Sorrow holding in one video a male and in the other a female a naked body on his knees. Only their faces are covered with a red mask marking the transition from the material (mask) to the spiritual world (nakedness). Their bodies retain a poem by Jalil Javanshir talking about pain and grief of a dying person. By juxtaposing life and death, the spiritual and material, male and female Vusal Rahim’s Pieta not only becomes a visual portrayal of existential human suffering but also raises questions on the religious and social construction of gender.
Vugar Guliyev’s installation consists of a room with shiny thorns throwing shadows on the walls. The visitor is invited to explore the room and dive into its dark atmosphere. The point of departure for the artist constituted prisons cells or torture chambers, however, meant to be a reflection of each persons own connection to the emotional state of fear made visible in the reflecting material. The thorns are not only the origin of anxiety but also related to triangles and their meaning in Egypt mythology such as sunrays symbolizing the sun god Ra. Thus the artist turns the chamber of darkness into a chamber of light.
The artist Aysel Amirova connects her work to the hypothetical concept of two people sharing the same vocabulary although one person’s subjective, conscious experience (Qualia) might be systematically different to the other. However the work not only talks of multiple experiences of the world but also about misplaced priorities. “Getting on the top of the golden pyramid – when there is nowhere else to aim – we may realize that all our lives we have been climbing onto false pyramids. We have been running away from our fears to accomplish all we longed for. We strum our medals although deep inside we know – we were deceived. The peak becomes upside down and we are going to the other way. All this happens some time and again, especially when we are amid of distorted mirrors. This is how reality works, soon or late everything tends to turn into its opposite.”
Vusal Rahim was born in 1987 in Ganja, Azerbaijan. In 2011 he graduated from the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts from the department of “Theater and Decorative Design”. His works include a wide range of medias such as painting, video, photography and sculptures exploring topics such as body, gender and social structures. Aside from Azerbaijan his works have been featured in Russia, USA, Georgia and France.
Vugar Guliev was born in 1984 in Baku, Azerbaijan. He graduated from the College of Arts of Asim Asimsade in 2003 in Baku. Mainly working in the genre of figurative painting his works capture moments of oneiric elements inspired by mythological and psychological subjects. His works have been shown in exhibitions in Azerbaijan as well as in Korea, Germany and France.
Aysel Amirova was born 1991 in Baku in a family of artists in the third generation. She studied graphic design at the University of Culture and Art, Baku. At the same time she was studying batik and ceramic techniques at the Princess school of traditional art in Baku. Since her childhood she was interested in art, photography and poetry. The artist participated in local as well in exhibitions abroad.