Although contemporary art keeps working on a multitude of topics, gender issues are supposed to be critic ones.

A scholarly guess connoted with Baku’s landmark monument – Maiden Tower claims this edifice used to be a worship place in the twilight of Zoroastrian history and was generally renown as the Temple of Anahita, the Divinity of the Waters and Fertility. The assumption above narrates the historical period when Mater Deum Magna (“the Great Mother of the Gods”) cult was still worshipped. The culture of Azerbaijan, however, sealed this female psyche (archetype) in the archives of its ancestral memory. Who knows, maybe due to these inherited commemorations and despite of widespread patriarchal structures across the entire Muslim Orient women historically played a crucial role in their communities Moreover, their activities transcended their societies they lived in and influence the social domain in 19th and 20th centuries. Not surprisingly, Maiden Tower project is under implementation in Azerbaijan, a country that managed to incorporate spiritual values of three religions – Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam, but also keen to adhere to the intellectual setup of the Occidental Enlightenment.

Although contemporary art keeps working on a multitude of topics, gender issues are supposed to be critic ones. One might jump to the conclusion that since the 21st century we all live in the times of so-called 5th Industrial Revolution (constructed reality gets increasingly more important and robotic technologies penetrate virtually all areas of life, etc.), many countries see the gender issue as a low priority.

In fact, currently, the gender issues in a modified pattern are most sought-after ones. The issue is not that these topics acquired rather retrogressive features: psychophysiological differences affecting the factors of domestic, social and cultural domination across the society, issues of fair distribution of social roles between men and women, sex-based perception of androcracy and matriarchy. Far from it, gender issues get more refined and sophisticated shape. The essence is the interaction of female and male principles assumed in their ontological and metaphysical manifestation. If we have a look at the gender construct from this perspective, again, we witness male domination recorded from the times of Descartes and Bacon and revealed in Rationalism, violence against nature, strict hierarchy principle, power of reason, etc. has not been overcome, but the other way around, it has built momentum upon getting invested in subtle and subversive patterns.

Illustratively, an extensively discussed issue of Artificial Intelligence is nothing more but the climax of rationalism concept development, i.e. development of male domination principle of existence. And what about rapidly unfolded global digitalization process and superseding (or maybe even replacement) of humans for robotic technologies? What is that but a victorious manifestation of the above-stated male principle?

All issues noted above are critical ones, so are the serious problems. Studies on these and other gender- related issues through contemporary art are of high dimension (importance?) since, in a marked contrast to many other fields, art holds intense emotional, empathetic and affective components which were always distinctive features of female principle of existence. Any gender project seeks to develop, intensify and reveal various components of female principle of existence at different levels as its overall purpose, specifically, when it comes to any gender project implemented in the realm of the art.

Teymur Daimi
Artist, art theorist

Teymur Daimi THREE GRACES video, 5'11 2018
Teymur Daimi
video, 5’11 2018