Human Spiritual Quest: "Everything Will Be Alright: Tomorrow or Someday"

The search for identity and meaning in life by modern humans is a topic recently addressed by many artists. The group exhibition "Everything Will Be Alright: Tomorrow or Someday" at YAY Gallery features works by Rasim Babayev, Elshan Baba, Orkhan Huseynov, Terlan Gorchu, Aida Mahmudova, Qafar Rzayev, Zamir Suleymanov, and CHINGIZ. This exhibition explores various aspects of truth and identity through the contemporary lens. Curated by Zahra Mammadova, the exhibition focuses on how art influences individuals.

"This exhibition compels the audience to consider art’s determination and power to cause change, facing them with the notion that 'art is both a mirror and a means.' Eight artists, working in various media and with different experiences, come together in this exhibition, each presenting a unique perspective on the overlapping and interconnected truths of this power."

The first artwork that greets viewers gives an impression of what to expect throughout the exhibition. It begins with a question, engaging the audience immediately.

The sense of loneliness and solitude is presented in a way that resonates with local viewers. For example, Terlan Gorchu’s piece "Solitude," presented on a wool carpet, conveys a message contrary to what we might have learned. The artist breathes new life into the traditional understanding of a carpet as merely a collection of patterns. "There are numerous examples in Azerbaijani folk literature and music that speak to human emotions. Carpet art, however, has predominantly addressed religious, secular, and more abstract themes for centuries. The artist believes that intimate, emotional feelings are almost absent in our carpets."

Aida Mahmudova's work from the series "Liminality," created using mixed media, invites viewers to reflect on the concept of space. The artist states, "We exist within space, we live together in parallel, and space exists within us." This work suggests that space reflects both the internal and external worlds of a person.

The artist examines the significance of personal and public spaces from a human perspective. Personal spaces are places where individuals can express themselves and feel comfortable. Public spaces are where interactions and collective experiences occur.

"The artist investigates how these different types of spaces communicate with each other and how individuals influence their existence within these spaces. Ultimately, the artist’s works highlight the various dimensions of space and the role these dimensions play in human life. The physical and spiritual aspects of space, the interaction between personal and public spaces, and the concept of 'liminality' are central themes in the artist's works."

On the second floor of the exhibition, viewers encounter video, photo, and fabric installations.

Elshan Baba’s "Pen on Paper" piece, addressing the pace of life, forces the audience to self-reflect. This work highlights whether a person lives in turmoil, chaos, or tranquility, prompting viewers to question their own lives and daily routines.

"Attempting to live quietly can result in a life rich with memories, making our life sketch darker. But if we live in haste, our life flows quickly, and our writing consists of distant, disconnected lines."

"The exposition contains the artist's 'diary.' This diary might be meaningful to the artist personally but also resonates with the audience, reflecting a collective experience."

CHINGIZ's "Am I Hearing the Answers?" fabric installation in various sizes provokes thought by asking concrete questions. The work delves into the essence of being human and our place in the universe, offering a profound investigation into the meaning, purpose, and essence of human existence. This piece provides viewers an opportunity to rethink their lives and roles in the world, encouraging deeper contemplation and a broader understanding of life's meaning.

One of the notable works in the exhibition is Zamir Suleymanov's 11-minute 47-second video installation "Regretful Saffron," created in 2021. The film, shot in Amsterdam, Paris, Budapest, and Istanbul, holds a special story, centering around eating "pişmaniye" on the North Bridge in Paris.

"This work was inspired by the famous French film director Jacques Rivette's 'North Bridge.' After watching the events in Rivette's film, the artist felt a sense of regret and symbolically expressed it by eating pişmaniye on the North Bridge in Paris."

"The work, filmed in various cities, reflects the artist's inner world and emotional state, expressed through different performative acts, culminating in the pivotal moment of eating pişmaniye on the North Bridge in Paris."

Overall, the exhibition, with works by all the artists, prompts viewers to question life's meaning, identity, and many aspects of the human spiritual world. Each work complements the others, collectively addressing all questions related to the human inner world.

"The artworks engage in a dialogue with our socio-political reality, presenting an honest and open conversation with the soul. Questions arise, forcing us to consider conflict and chaos while also finding beauty and purpose within the inner world."

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