Aida Mahmudova, Untitled (still), 2022 / Courtesy of the artist
Aida Mahmudova: Heaven Can Wait
Jun 8 – Oct 22, 2023
YARAT Contemporary Art Space
Baku, Azerbaijan

YARAT Contemporary Art Space presents the exhibition Heaven Can Wait by Azerbaijani artist Aida Mahmudova. In order to explore all the possibilities of our existence, we have to turn to art and the social sciences. While there are universal values of art, we must not forget that our literary and visual context is strictly local. The following point is essential: the reality in which a person feels himself/herself most profoundly is the artistic reality that leads us to the universal reality. Here, Aida Mahmudova takes us to a kind of landscape, to the reality of the landscape, to save us from the claustrophobia of the self.

Although the reality of the landscape that the artist created at the center of the Heaven Can Wait exhibition may seem personal and difficult to understand at first glance, the artist critiques the pathology of the self. On the one hand, life stands before us in all its anatomical reality, and in some cases, life appears as much more than a landscape. However, trying to separate life from the landscape will also lead us to a kind of alienation. All life, all personal or social history, takes place in a landscape, in geography, and there is always some place that resonates in our memory.

[ . . . ]

Art no longer confines itself to describing, measuring, and analyzing the world as it appears. Mahmudova believes that geography and memory are too abstract to be presented in a naturalist way. While Mahmudova’s works convey that art contributes to the world’s renewal, she states that modern time and space are insecure and introverted. Therefore, the world is depicted as an open composition on the edges of the canvases. Her works can be a means of discovery and expression for the audience; she calls for greater openness and creativity where barriers to meaning are removed.

With a courageous pioneering action, Mahmudova shows us that humanity can transcend borders with appropriate skills and tools. As a result, the exhibition seeks to cross physical and conceptual borders. Unless we cross these borders, we will not have humanist geography. A careful look at the works will provide us with significant clues to understand a little bit about how this can happen, and if we dare.

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