Leyla Aliyeva visited the exhibition “Stalmate”

The exhibition "STALMATE" began at the “YAY!” gallery of the “Yarat!” Contemporary Art Space on January 15. Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva and Rector of the Baku branch of Moscow State University, Prof. Nargiz Pashayeva visited the exhibition.

This curatorial project has been previously presented in "Mars" Gallery in Moscow within the frame of the Parallel Program of the 3rd Moscow International Biennale for Young Art.

Today`s world is marked by a constant change in the terms of coexistence of the sexes, making gender issues ever more relevant. Decades of socio-cultural research in the field of gender studies have resulted in an increasingly complicated picture of gender relations. This increase in complexity can be attributed to the ongoing transition of the contemporary world from postmodernism to a new period. This period contains within it both the "dreamtime" of traditional communities and the more frantic western capitalist culture. However, the majority of countries today find themselves living in a grey zone between the two extremes, thus balancing these temporal levels. This fact does not only radicalize the gender issues, but provides interesting and precious material for artistic creation.

Let`s take young Azeri artists as an example - an Afghan living in Azerbaijan and three Azeri female artists. Originally coming from a country ruled by Sharia law, Reza`s art has a strong patriarchal character; even his choice of the medium - pencil and paper - is old fashioned. His inner being is thorn between East/South and West/North. Unlike his female counterparts, he came from an Islamic country to Azerbaijan, a secular environment to which he now needs to adapt. The girls, on the other hand, were born into a secular society and, consequently, their works imply a self-sufficient worldview and wide horizons, just as their choice of media is more sophisticated - sculptural installations and video.

Such a collision of two fundamentally different worldviews and gender positions within one group raises interesting questions and promises curious outcomes. Whose vision will ultimately prove itself to be more original and relevant to the audience - the characteristically male traditional optics, refracting contemporary light from its uncompromising outlook, or the female view of the problem, eroding the patriarchal " phallocentricity "?

The exhibition will last till February 16.