Constructing Peripheries exhibition to open in Amsterdam on May 21

Photo: Constructing Peripheries exhibition to open in Amsterdam on May 21 / Azerbaijan

Constructing Peripheries, an exhibition of work by three Azerbaijani artists will open on May 21st in Amsterdam as part of the GRID International Photography Festival 2014, which this year is based on the theme of Constructions. In the exhibition, the artists explore the meaning of constructed environments in everyday life and their impact on self-identification of their inhabitants.

GRID is a biennial international photography festival for contemporary visual culture. The festival offers a wide range of exhibitions by international renowned artists and emerging talents from all over the world. Besides exhibitions, there is also an additional OFF GRID festival programme by galleries and the creative industry. Furthermore there are related educational art projects, lectures, workshops and competitions.

The sixth edition of GRID will feature many international artists from all over the world and, among others, three young Azerbaijani artists - Zamir Suleymanov, Emin Azizbeyli and Nazrin Mammadova - who work across different media. The exhibition is curated by Suad Garayeva and commissioned by YARAT, a non-commercial organization dedicated to nurturing an understanding of contemporary art in Azerbaijan and to creating a platform for Azerbaijani art, both nationally and internationally. Based in Baku, YARAT, (which means CREATE in Azerbaijani) realizes its mission through an on-going program of exhibitions, education events, and festivals. YARAT facilitates dialogue and exchange between local and international artistic networks, including foundations, galleries and museums.

In their short film Astar (2012), Zamir Suleymanov and Emin Azizbeyli present a story of a young boy living on outskirts of Baku. Presented as an open-ended narrative, the film explores the quotidian movements and interactions of its protagonist, both public and private. Blurring reality with fantasy, the film constructs an image of its main character Arzuman, by navigating not only the constructed environment of his dwellings but also the constructed environment of his dreams. Suggested by his own name- Arzuman- an anagram of "man" and an Azeri for "dream", the film presents life on the peripheries of the capital, of business, of love and of reality itself.

In her new series of works Nazrin Mammadova, travels the regions of Azerbaijan and photographs roof patterns of private constructions populating the local landscape. Digitally manipulated and multiplied in her works such as the Shirvan Series (2014) these patterns are taken out of their immediate context and presented as signifiers in their own right. Easily available as a means of not only protection but also that of decoration, these steel roofs act as symbols of contemporary local architecture and disconcerting uniformity of the seemingly individualized housings to which they belong. Mammadova's work thus acts as a digital portrait of peripheral locales and their particular vernacular, which combines old craftsman tradition with cheap materials and homogeneity engendered by a construction boom.

Bank Technique supports the project within the framework of "Artım" program.

Exhibition dates: from the 21st of May - 12th of June, 2014

Opening: Wednesday 21st of May (from approx. 18.00-20.00h)

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