LondonAidan Salakhova: The Dust Became The Breath
Gazelli Art House presents the exhibition ‘The Dust Became The Breath’, featuring Aidan Salakhova (b.1964), the prominent Azeri artist. The exhibition is the first of the gallery’s 10th year anniversary programme, celebrating its history and marking its inception in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2003.
Mila Askarova (founding director) says, “we are very proud to have an international platform to showcase important artists from Azerbaijan and give voice to the region’s history in the UK. ” The exhibition debuts a new series of artworks by Salakhova.
Curator Farah Piriye explains, “the exhibition’s title, inspired by Nizami Ganjavi’s ‘The Treasury of Mysteries’ (1163), an ethico-philosophical poem aimed at moral and spiritual guidance which likens dust to the ghosts of our pasts, as the exhibition navigates personal and collective experiences, confronting the challenging aspects of our histories in order to examine our present identities.”
‘The Dust Became The Breath’ builds its narrative around the work of Aidan Salakhova, structuring a decadent discourse on cultural and sexual identity, religion and spirituality, traditional symbols and journeys taken inward. Experimenting with implicit forms of time and memory, Salakhova’s body of work elicits a sense of mysticism and transcendence, exploring the nature of feminine presence through time. It allows for simultaneous existence in multiple realities—internally and externally, in the past and present, experiencing and being experienced, while attempting to escape such constraints imposed by the principles of duality; feminine vs masculine, consciousness vs unconsciousness, guilt vs remorse, personal vs public, presence vs absence, past struggles vs present identities, the East vs the West.
Going beyond time and space while challenging the persistence of patriarchy by focusing on powerful female personification, the exhibition sheds light on the artist’s personal experiences, as untold stories and social stigmas take their rightful place in public discourse. In an almost Sufi manner, the dichotomy of I-other is transcended, becoming one universal non-duality.
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)