Recycled

2012 – 2014

Installation

Metal, steel

Site-specific sizes

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Recycled, 2012

Mixed media, installation

60 x 250 x 350 cm

2012 012 Public Art Festival, Seaside Boulevard, Baku, Azerbaijan (February 25 – September 1)

Recycled is a reclaimed window pane which signifies the transience of the world we live in. For decades the ornate windows (of the Puppet Theatre, Baku) were admired, until they were unceremoniously removed when the building was renovated. The work comments upon how the urbanization of our environment not only affects our visual perception but encroaches upon our spiritual senses.

 

The artist questions if there is a prospect to reuse these items without changing their original appearance and form and whether they will be relevant when used in a completely new context. The first cinema theatre in Azerbaijan, called the 'Phenomenon', was designed in the style of French Renaissance by Joseph Ploshko and started operating in 1910. Mollaaga Babirli later advocated changing the building into the new Azerbaijan State Puppet Theatre. Upon an initiative of a number of theatre workers led by the playwright Jafar Jabbarli, the Puppet Theatre was founded following a decree, issued by Azerbaijan's Commissariat of Education. Its first performance The Circus was staged in April 1932.

 

(From 012 Public Art Festival project catalogue, 2012)

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Recycle, 2013

Steel, betony

6 pieces. Each size 100 x 50 x 75 cm

2013 Home Sweet Home, group exhibition, Azerbaijan Culture Center, Paris, France (April 18 – May 18)

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Recycle, 2013

Steel, betony

6 pieces. Each size 100 x 50 x 75 cm

2013 Home Sweet Home, group exhibition, Museum of Modern Art, Baku, Azerbaijan (September 9 – October 10)

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Recycled, 2012 – 2013

Metal window grates, stainless steel

2 pieces, each size 40 x 310 x 270 cm

2013 Love Me Love Me Not, Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan and its Neighbors, Collateral Event, International Art Exhibition, 55th Venice Biennale, Arsenale Nord, Venice, Italy (June 1 – November 24)

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Recycled, 2012 – 2013

Metal window grates, stainless steel

2 pieces, each size 40 x 310 x 270 cm

2014 Love Me Love Me Not, Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan and its Neighbors, group exhibition, Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan (April 3 – May 25)

Aida Mahmudova’s work consistently encompasses aspects of memory and nostalgia. Her work considers how memory is tied to the debris and the material of a past life, rather than simply the locale or context.

 

Recycled, 2012–2013, alludes to the complicated play between memory and modernization that has come to characterise Baku and the surrounding regions. The sculpture re-purposes the discarded metal window grates that once adorned some of the city’s old buildings prior to their renovation. Stainless steel silhouettes rise on thin metal rods from the latticework of the grates. These highly polished and reflective forms mirror the surrounding environment while simultaneously casting abstracted, decorative shadows within the immediate area. The effect of the nearly transparent rods, reflective surfaces, and cast shadows is both visual delight and optical confusion. Much like nostalgia itself, the assemblage is derived from actual, historic elements of Baku, yet it is infused with a sense of uncertainty and visual disorientation. The actual nature of the historic, decorative screen is only perceptible when seen through the

precariously placed contemporary reflections.

 

The assemblage attempts to capture that which cannot be completely recalled or made tangible. It conveys the diaspora of memory that characterises aspects of nostalgia. By re-using, re-contextualising, and re-cycling an historic object, the sculpture makes apparent that recollection depends on materiality: sensual perceptions, sights, sounds, and smells. In an era of rampant technological and urban development, mass globalisation, and migration, Mahmudova’s work makes clear that the longing for a place is more than a specific locale, and more than merely a desire for a specific context. It is the remembered sensations of the debris of the past. The sculpture materialises what we long for when we are nostalgic and in that sense, limns the outline of a material history of memory.

 

From Love Me Love Me Not, Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan and its Neighbors exhibition catalogue, Venice, 2013)

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Cosmic Communication System, 2013

From Recycled series

Steel, betony

100 x 525 x 306 cm

2013 The Territory of the Wind, Open Air Sculpture Museum, project by Altai Sadigzadeh, AzMeCo Factory, Garadagh Peninsula, Azerbaiijan (Since May 2013)