PhD in Art Studies
Applied Fine and Decorative Art issues
No 1-2 (16) 2015
(On the Art by Faig Ahmed)
Faig Ahmed is an artist of innovations and avant-garde. As a holder of a personal consciousness he turns towards tradition of Azerbaijan carpet weaving craft and transforms it.

Everything is flowing, displaying ever-present change and becoming transformed in his innovative art works. According to the artist's own words, it deals with "violation of classicism". It deals with neo-avant-garde. And that is not all of it…

But the pressure of his avant-garde is softened by post-modernism, which is oriented onto citations and dialogue with the past. It happens because Faig somehow works with the treasury of classic Azerbaijan carpet.

Another post-modernity sign can also be noticed in the works by Faig Ahmed: rizoma-like structure of his compositions. Clear-cut structures of traditional Azerbaijani carpet patterns flow around, melt down and turn in front of a viewer into "rizoma"s – "absent structures" (the term introduced by U. Eco).

The author transforms some structures and deforms some others. He is attracted by instability (which is the title for one of his works), imbalance states of synergetic.

Faig is interested in the quantum physics as well: his works are good samples of providing the room for quantum annihilations. In the quantum world one corpuscle runs into its antipode and they both disappear, annihilating each-other. This phenomenon is called "zero-point vacuum fluctuations". They name it "zero" because corpuscles exist during infinitely short period of time. Faiq Ahmed annihilates, abolishes other confrontation dyads as well, such as ugly and beautiful manifestations. External beauty is not interesting for him. His works are not design, and even not decorative art samples. They are something more valuable… They represent global non-dualist approach of "advaita", so popular in his beloved India.

Spreading and blurring are known as favorite themes in view of the post-modernist epoch's art.

And here we are, watching how the yellow and black paints spread over the carpet's middle field in the compositions of 'Flood of yellow weight' and 'Black'. Carpet elements in the composition of 'Oiling' go transformed into the oil streams, and thus the work occurs placed into the social urgency context. Carpet structure of 'Ledge' and 'Expansion' evolves towards deformation. Deformation is applied in 'Double tension' as well.

In his works entitled 'Rapture' and 'Cone' the artist seems following the carpet expert Shuller Kammann – he suggests thinking of carpets not as of something flat, but something outreached into the space, i.e. not 2D but 3D object.

Deformation is not the most important in these works. But still the cone in 'Rapture' looks threatening, like a giant funnel, ready to suck the carpet's ornamental elements in.

Structure of the 'Tradition in Pixel' composition goes evidently annihilated. While the bottom part of the carpet has its own structure, the top part has it no more. In 'Hollow' again the intake funnel effect has been applied.

As it has been mentioned aright by S. Dadash, formalism as a typical feature must be attributed not just to avant-garde, but to traditional Turkic art as well.(3) No doubt, Faig Ahmed is a formalist. His vision is structural, and this reports about his educational background in sculpture; but it does not mean that his artworks don't contain any matter. Matter appears here born along with its form, in their indivisible unity. Just like old Chinese painting masters used to do it, Faig Ahmed 'reports thinking' ("xie yi"), but not as a story or ideology or philosophy – he reports his formal, artistic idea. He shows interest for transformations that can be applied to artistic form.

His high creativity and heuristic essence of his artistic method make his art distant from post-modernism. However, none of bright creative individualities could ever fit within narrow borders of a style. Faig Ahmed even doesn't target "being a post-modernist". Simply, his art contains some features of post-modernism. His art also contains obviously modernist rush and obviously avant-garde innovation, and this takes him closer to the modernism of XX century.
"Generally, inspiration doesn't come to me taking start from some objects, – says the artist. – It arises spontaneously."
And this takes him closer to abstractionists of XX century. This subjectivism presents essence of the abstract art in whole. And, besides, Azerbaijan carpet itself must be considered as the top-level of the abstract art.

This is the way of how Faig Ahmed's challenging dialogue with Azerbaijan artistic tradition develops.

Certainly, he evolves traditions… via "violation", via innovation. But that is not all of it… Of cause, he evolves them via dialogue with past. Old forms, ossified within boundaries of the canon, find their new, second birth in his works.

Artworks by Faig Ahmed are post-structuralist palimpsests – they are multilevel writings. Their first level is formed by traditional carpet patterns. The second one – by pattern transformations. The third level appears formed by various philosophical and conceptual associations or ideas, emerging in the mind of the author or viewer. And texts by Nizami and Fużūlī (1) had precisely the same structure. Thus, neo-avant-garde artist Faig Ahmed turns to be extremely traditional artist, who keeps up and continues traditions of the Azerbaijan art.

Faig Ahmed's 'Cone', placed among other exhibits of his show launched in the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, is extremely laconic artwork. It displays a cone, which contains something like steps. The cone's centre is displaced aside, and thus there has been achieved an effect of not circular, but a conic shape; it is known that planar imaging of a cone in traditional art, usually, presents a sequence of concentric circles.

For Pythagoreanism, Neo-Platonism and Sufism adherents (5), a cone means Universe. And again Faig Ahmed appears here not as a representative of avant-garde or post-modernism, but as a traditionalist: he is concerned about this serious theme – the theme of Sufism and Sufi symbols.

It is surprising how this talented artist is able to hold within himself and his works this multifaceted world of diverse and multi-vector phenomena and styles, and to avoid eclectic and mechanical mixing of various elements. Young artist Faig Ahmed, who is a member of the YARAT group, has attained really impressive achievements: in his best works he managed to reach synthesis of hardly combinable and heterogenic phenomena of the world of culture and arts.