The film is a brief tour of the solo exhibition of my project 'The (Dis-)Appearing Woman'. My aim was to explore the personal impact of geographical displacement among foreign women living temporarily in Azerbaijan, and to gain a perspective on the image of the foreign woman in contrast to prevailing values among the local female population.
The project was researched and developed over a period of four years, and comprises of two films of 17 minutes 36’ in length to be projected side by side concurrently; an audio recording of interview extracts and over a hundred paintings on digital prints. The installation of the work does not require all the paintings to be shown, a small selection of the work can be hung, possibly without the audio, but the films require two projectors and headphone sets.
Recurring themes among the foreigners include feelings of disorientation and alienation, leading to feelings of isolation and powerlessness; the local interviewees (who reflect the selection of foreign interviewees in age and status) reveal alternative perspectives on what is understood to be foreign, and the subjective nature of perceived freedoms. The contrast in the artworks between the photographic and painted surfaces is intended to reflect these notions of dissonance, whilst establishing a conversation between image and the materiality of paint itself.
This project was shown in its entirety at The Museum of Modern Art in Baku Azerbaijan in March 2015.
In the wake of recent political upheavals, the work takes on a new resonance regarding the status of women within a patriarchal, undemocratic state, and an alternative take on perceptions of immigrants.