“I suspect the truth is that we are waiting, all of us, against insurmountable odds, for something extraordinary to happen to us.”
I was also waiting. Waiting for some words to miraculously crystallize in my head, thoughts forming shapes of words in Harry Potteresque style, but it never happened. Never for an awfully long time (47 days, a kind stranger made me realize). The reason is quite straightforward, I was feeling like I’ve written all possible words I know and there are simply no words left. For the first time in my life it was very quiet inside my head, the long loud silence. I felt like I want to say a lot, at the same time it was as if I was purely devastated, they took the words away. Bipolar feel it is. A friend of mine told me to visit as many exhibitions as possible. And I did, for the sake of cure and inspiration. So that day I was ready for another exhibition in Baku that was organized by Yarat Contemporary Art Organization (an organization that in my opinion plays a big role in forming a new history of art in Azerbaijan). I was going to the exhibition and I was brought to the factory. A long abandoned Baku Air Conditioner Factory that was active back in the Soviet Times. I was lost, when I first entered this dark and mystical space, filled with detritus and metal equipment untouched for many years, quietly frozen in time.
The curator of this project, an eccentric and very talented Azeri artist Faig Ahmed, who is now in fact becoming very popular overseas, brought together 29 emerging Azeri artists, whose works were spread across the factory, hidden amongst its rusted belongings. Frankly speaking, I didn’t notice them immediately, although they were quite of a stand-out nature. After some time my eye caught a huge 3 dimensional sculpture Rubik’s Cube, a room with the only survived and working air conditioner, a Hirst-esque looking sparkling corner with diamond installations, several very loud video walls and projectors, screaming about time, psychology and human nature; even light-hearted ironic performance. But then again despite the noisy art objects the factory seemed extraordinary quiet.
The essential point, in my opinion, was skillfully achieved by the curator and the young artists, there is no conflict amongst the artworks, and they do not interfere with the sublime greyness of the factory. The old plant was languidly breathing together with its each visitor, as felt many people, it carried this dual feeling about itself, just like in my head, it was silent, but its silence was very loud.
All photos courtesy of Yarat Contemporary Art Space.