Gazelli Art House is delighted to present Rewriting Childhood, the first group exhibition between artists Agil Abdullayev and Farhad Farzali.
Agil Abdullayev (b. 1992, Azerbaijan) primarily works with moving images, performance and photography. His practice examines the contrast between the global East and West, surveying themes such as public and private life, gender, the effects of social media and futurism, creating parallels between these subjects. In 2022, Abdullayev graduated with First Class Honours in a Fine Arts degree from Nottingham Trent University.
In the series of works titled Super cliché, super weird, super abnormal, Abdullayev uses the gallery’s exhibition space to create a dreamlike reimagining of his childhood bedroom. Using mythological creatures such as unicorns and mermaids, the artist plays his younger self: a young boy searching for ways to flourish in an often hostile neighbourhood and culture. Drawing from his personal experiences of growing up in a minuscule house amongst a family of five, Abdullayev will present an idyllic recreation of his actual childhood bedroom - a single bed located in their family kitchen - in which he lacked space to decorate with stickers, posters or memorabilia.
Farhad Farzali was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 1989. Farzali completed a distinction-graded MFA at the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts in Baku in 2012. The artist works predominantly with installation- based art and creates his work with painting, graphics, photography, and sound.
As outlined by Farzali himself: “After the earthquake in Baku, I moved with my parents to a house at the intersection of Nizami and Bul-Bul, in 2001. I filmed a video of random passers-by along Nizami Street, where the first Gazelli Gallery then opened a few years later. The dullness of the late 90s and early 2000s is difficult to put into words, but it is visible in the video. People, streets, sky, trees, everything has a gray-brown hue. I got out of this dullness and survived - now I’m 32, and I’m doing the same thing that I’ve been doing since I was three years old. I have kept all my archives through numerous moves from apartment to apartment.”
Using these themes and experiences as inspiration, Farzali’s work within the exhibition will be presented from the perspective of a young child making their journey through Baku. Materials such as plastic bags, office furniture, old plush toys from the artist’s childhood, plants and screens will be used to illustrate this world. His section of the exhibition will be almost a theatre-like look into the artist’s past.