Stalemate is an exhibition dedicated to gender issues featuring works by young Azerbaijani artists including an Afghan origin painter living in Azerbaijan and three Azerbaijani female artists. With their works Reza Hazare, Fidan Seyidova, Nazrin Mammadova and Jemma Sattar will present their view on these issues.
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.
Unlike his female counterparts, Reza Hazare came from an Islamic country to Azerbaijan, a secular environment to which he now needs to adapt. His art has a strong patriarchal character; even his choice to use materials like pencil and paper is old fashioned. His inner being is thorn between East/South and West/North. On the other hand, Fidan Seyidova, Nazrin Mammadova and Jemma Sattar 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. They used sculptural installations and video to realize their works.
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”?