Babi Badalov

November 1, 2014

MATERIALISME HISTéRIQUE, galerie Jerome Poggi, 18.10.2014 – 29.11.2014

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July 31, 2014

ARTONAUTICS, Gdansk City Gallery 26.07 – 14.09.2014

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ARTONAUTICS | A project by in the framework of the Gdansk City Gallery

Zbyněk Baladrán, Untitled, 2013. Mixed media collage with work by Václav Magid, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and tranzit.


A project by in the framework of the Gdansk City Gallery, Poland.

The exhibition is curated by, Vít Havránek (Prague), Dóra Hegyi (Budapest) and Georg Schöllhammer (Vienna) and organized by Patrycja Ryłko, Curator, Gdańska Galeria Miejska.

Exhibited artists/theoreticians: Babi Badalov, Zbyněk Baladrán,  László Beke, Erick Beltrán, Curatorial Dictionary (David Karas, Eszter Szakács), Josef Dabernig, Stano Filko, Ion Grigorescu, Vít Havránek, Lukáš Jasanský – Martin Polák, Sung Hwan Kim, Barbora Kleinhamplová, Jiří Kovanda, Václav Magid, Boris Ondreička, Parallel Chronologies (An Archive of East European Exhibitions), Francois Piron, Hedwig Saxenhuber, Ruti Sela, Catarina Simão, Tereza Stejskalová, Sweet Sixties: Local Modernities (Soviet Modernism Styles and Ideological Function), Tamás St. Turba,  Mona Vătămanu – Florin Tudor,  János Sugár, Jan Verwoert.

What is the exhibition about? Or more precisely – what does the exhibition offer to the visitor to think about or think around?   

The exhibition brings together a flux of artworks, documentaries, video-commentaries and archives selected and produced by tranzit – a network of independent initiatives based in Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The display is conceived as an interface that allows visitors to meet artists and cultural producers with whom tranzit has had inspiring continuous or long-term collaborations. Some artists were commissioned by tranzit to comment on their earlier projects, some were asked to reflect on the invitation itself, others were asked to propose an interpretation of a fellow artist’s work and some to realize new commissions. The flux of videos offers an asychronic narrative. The events, artworks, histories and geographic relations presented are not limited by the often narrow boundaries of the (art) world, rather visitors will find inside a mise-en-scene of the tranzit network’s histories, where the present is understood as an overlap of multiple temporal and spatial frames. Without neglecting context, the exhibition proposes an ahistorical, dysfunctional approach to events, artworks and imaginations, while also recognizing that they have a precise date and locality of origin. It recognizes the confrontation between visions of the future and their development, fading out or suspension. All projected futures are determined by political possibilities latent in the present. Social utopias materialize in design, technology, architecture, urbanism and everyday objects — all of which shape social behavior, and vice versa. The Spaceship places different, and at times contradictory, reflections on social utopias in reciprocal interaction. The Spaceship represents Plato’s famous Ship of State as well as the Ship of Fools — allegories that raise questions about “navigation,” autocracy versus ideology and the lunacy that has driven human communities and societies.

What is the tranzit network and how does it work?

Tranzit is a network working independently in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania since 2002. The network has a polycentric structure as a collective of autonomous local units cooperating across various borderlines – between nations, languages, media, mentalities and histories.
Each tranzit works under its own conditions in a variety of local contexts, using different formats and methods, such as critical platforms, exhibitions and other artistic settings (musical, poetical, literary, performative …), lectures, discussions, publications, research, mediation and non-conformist education.
tranzit generates deep experience in the local artistic and intellectual biotopes in relation to continuity, a re-assessment of contemporary history (arising chiefly from the artistic catharsis of the 1960s and ’70s) and in challenging the canons, geographies and master narratives of postwar European (art) histories. The aim of tranzit is to act translocally, i.e. in constant dialectics between local and global cultural narratives.
tranzit’s experience with self-organized activities in progressive cultures dates back to the totalitarian society of the 1970s and ’80s and has continued through the hyper-transformational period and the comprehensive reform of all strata of society in the 1990s and up to the present.
tranzit is engaged in numerous side projects, such as Monument to Transformation in Prague, the Július Koller Society in Bratislava and Vienna, The Free School for Art Theory and Practice in Budapest and Manifesta 8 in Murcia.

What kind of “material” is on display?

Originating from tranzit’s ongoing research projects, video screens display particular moments and elucidate the motives of various forms of cultural production from Central/ Eastern Europe, as well as other pieces from tranzit’s work elsewhere through trans-geographical networks. After the political shifts following the revolutions of 1989, suppressed historical records have played a crucial role in the development of politics and identity in post-socialist European countries. Archives have become a weapon. Over the past ten years, tranzit has created or explored a number of archives, ranging from publications to exhibitions, all aimed at reinterpreting the past from today’s perspectives. These curatorial research-based projects are often realized in transnational collaborations, making previously lacking exchange and comparative investigations possible. By challenging normative methodologies of academic study and investigating unorthodox interdisciplinary approaches, these archival projects synchronize with the complex strategies of artistic exploration. tranzit projects have assumed numerous forms, including: monographic books, often written by or about artists whose oeuvres have not been properly collected or interpreted[1]; an encyclopedia, Atlas of Transformation[2], a dictionary of personal notations, explaining key terms around political, social and cultural transformation of totalitarian and authoritarian states; thee multilayered research project “Sweet Sixties,”[3] an international partnership that uncovers avant-gardes which emerged in the shadows of the Cold War; and rewritings of the histories of influential yet invisible exhibitions in Parallel Chronologies: An Archive of East European Exhibitions.[4] Like other artists and cultural practitioners, tranzit points at voids in canonized art history by reassembling certain banned practices, finding new categories and applying impure or interdisciplinary methodologies. Some of the featured archives function as time capsules, like that of the pivotal Slovak artist Stano Filko, whose archive of documentary photos and historical records is commented on by Jan Verwoert and Francois Piron.,9,0,0,1167,0,ARTONAUTICS_A_project_by_tranzit_org_in_the_framework_of_the_Gdansk_City_Gallery,0,index.html

July 11, 2014


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July 1, 2014

Untitled…(Local Foreigners), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow

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native foreginers

Project #6: Untitled… (Local Foreigners)
July 7 – August 10

Featuring: Aslan Gaysumov (Chechnya), Taus Makhacheva (Dagestan), Babi Badalov (France/Azerbaijan), Mher Azatyan (Armenia) Nino Sekhniashvili (Georgia), Musay Gayvoronsky (Dagestan)
Curator: Andrey Misiano

Garage Project Space’s sixth project, Untitled… (Local Foreigners) is an exhibition  Untitled… (Native Foreigners) is an exhibition dwelling on the experiences of various artists born during Soviet times in the Caucasus, who are gradually losing their connection to a common socialist past. The exhibition’s participants may represent differing geographies and generations, yet they are united by a painfully uncertain sense of personal identity, intensified and overсomplicated by the conditions of a new global order.
Untitled… (Local Foreigners) focuses on the experiences and art of people who have lived through the collapse of history – and continue their existence in a fragmented, globalized world. At the same time, memories of the first post-soviet decades, today presented through a highly controversial historical perspective, have not yet faded entirely. The common consensus, however, is that all the greater aspirations of that lost epoch continue to remain in the future indefinite tense. Current circumstances are driving a distance from government-implemented social and cultural policies and imposed ideological imperatives and the artists’ response is a migration, or escape.
In this context, it seems appropriate to draw on a philosophical phenomenon examined by the Italian philosopher Paolo Virno in his Gramatica de la Multitud* (A Grammar of the Multitude, 2003). Analyzing modern society, Virno addresses a very specific internal state that is, to differing extents, characteristic of all the participants in the exhibition: the inability to “feel at home.” This new “homelessness” implies that every person is essentially a foreigner, independent of citizenship or place of residence.
Each work presented at the exhibition invites the viewer to share insights highly personal to its artist, which originate from differing social contexts and facts of personal biography. In this way, previously unexplored but universally relevant questions will be raised and explored.

* A Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life by Paolo Virno has been published in Russian as part of Garage’s joint publishing project with Ad Marginem.

The participants:

Nino Sekhniashvili
was born in 1979 in Tbilisi. She graduated from the Tbilisi State Fine Art Academy and has developed as an artist while attending numerous residencies in Georgia and beyond. Her artistic language is not defined by any specific medium, and attempts to transcend traditional and contemporary visual techniques. In 2005, for example, she created the fictional band DARIO RADIO together with Kate Siamashvili, a collaboration that makes artworks through the medium of scent. Sekhniashvili is also the founder of the gallery and performance basement Nectar. Selected exhibitions: Archeologies of the Museum, Georgian National Museum, Tbilisi; Posta, Raum Oberkassel, Dusseldorf; THE LAST SONG, Gallery Micky Schubert,  Berlin. She lives and works in Tbilisi.

Mher Azatyan was born in 1972 in Yerevan, Armenia. He is an art collector and artist, whose works consist of collected images and texts. At the heart of these often sudden and unexpected encounters between photography and text lies material scarcity. However, he continues to search for wider opportunities, which can be found in the most insignificant of scenarios such as life’s simple pleasures or amusing situations. Selected exhibitions:  Remember Malevich, Yerevan, 1993; Question of Ark, Yerevan, 1995; Great Atrophy, Hay-Art Cultural Center, Yerevan, 1999; 49th Venice Biennale, 2001; Adieu-Parajanov: Contemporary Art from Armenia, Kunsthalle Project Space, Vienna, 2003. He lives and works in Yerevan.

Taus Makhacheva was born in 1983 in Moscow. She holds a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, London (2007) and an MA from Royal College of Art, London (2013). The problem of identity formation, whether cultural or ethnic, is a central area of reflection in the Caucasus. In Makhacheva’s practice, it is closely connected with the moral and ethical choices triggered by the evolution of new life conditions. Selected exhibitions: City States-Makhachkala, Topography of Masculinity, 7th Liverpool Biennial, 2012; 11th Sharjah Biennial (2013); Love Me, Love Me Not, 55th Venice Biennale, collateral event (2013); The Story Demands to Be Continued, Makhachkala (2013); Walk, A Dance, A Ritual, Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig (2014). Awards and honors: “Future of Europe” prize, Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig, 2014; “Innovation” prize, 2012. She lives and works in Makhachkala and Moscow.

Babi Badalov
was born in 1959, in Lerik, near the Iranian border of Azerbaijan, and studied at A. Azimzadeh State Art College of Azerbaijan. His art is influenced by the different cultures that he encountered when, time and again, turbulent events forced him to migrate. These experiences are reflected in his visual poetry, which often combines Persian, Talysh, Russian, Farsi, English, French, and other languages. Essential to his works is the Eastern tradition of Dodagdeymez, a form of spoken poetry that is recited without the poets’ lips touching each other. Selected exhibitions: Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module, New Museum, New York, 2014; 1st Thessaloniki Biennale, 2007; Manifesta 8, Murcia, 2010; 15th Jakarta Biennale, 2013; The Watchmen, The Liars, The Dreamers, Le Plateau, Paris, 2010; My Life Report in Paris, Tranzit Display, Prague, 2010. His works are in the collections of the Russian Museum St. Petersburg; Kunstmuseum Emden; MHKA – Museum of Modern Art, Antwerp. He lives and works in Paris.

Aslan Gaisumov was born in 1991, in Grozny, Chechen Republic. He graduated from The Institute of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2012 and Moscow College of Design, 2010. Selected exhibitions: Untitled (war), CCA Winzavod, Space for Young Art “Start”, Moscow, Russia, 2011 (solo show); More Light , 5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2013;
Under a Tinsel Sun, 3rd Moscow International Biennale for Young Art (main project), Central House of Artists, Moscow, 2012. Awards and honors: prize from the French Institute, St. Petersburg, 2014;
winner of the 3rd Moscow International Biennale of Young Art, 2012. He lives and works in Grozny and Moscow.

Musa (Musay) Gayvoronsky was born in Kaspiysk, the Republic of Dagestan, in 1987. His creative searches originate from the close study of the everyday life that surrounds him. As a result, some of his video works take the form of distanced anthropological observations, while in other cases, Gayvoronsky adopts the opposite approach, carefully constructing situations in public spaces that transform the regular flow of the everyday into a form of experiment. Selected exhibitions: Touch, First Gallery, Dagestan, 2011 (solo show); Mount Kaspiy. The Contemporary Art of Dagestan, First Gallery, Dagestan, 2012 (mobile exhibition project); Addiction and Temptation, North Caucasus Biennale of Contemporary Art, First Gallery, Kaspiysk, 2013; Hand in Art, State Museum of Oriental Art, Maykop, The Republic of Adygeya, 2013; A Drawing of Russia 2013, 5th Tomsk All-Russian Triennial, 2013; Festival des Ailes et l’e space, MILSET Science Photo Contest, Toulouse, France 2013 (first place, Aeronautics and Space). He lives and works in Kaspiysk.

1,2,3 — Taus Makhacheva. Landscape, 2013 to the present time. Series of objects, wood, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist
4,5,6,7,8,9,10 — Babi Badalov. Visual poetry, 2013-2014. Collage, works 365 – 390. Courtesy of the artist

May 28, 2014

Geografico Demografico LinguiEastical Confusion, La Galerie, centre contemporay art, Noisy-le-Sec/Paris

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“Burocrasy diaries” – La Galerie, centre for contemporay art, Noisy-le-Sec/Paris

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May 25, 2014

Disparity and Demand, La Galerie, Contemporary Art Centre

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Babi Badalov


La Galerie, Contemporary Art Centre

Loretta Fahrenholz, My Throat My Air, 2013. Video, 16:47 minutes. Courtesy of the artist, galleries Daniel Buchholz, Köln, Berlin and Reena Spaulings, New York.

 Disparity and Demand

24 May–12 July 2014

Opening: Saturday, May 24, 2–7pm
4–6pm: A conversation about forms of affects with curator in residency Pedro de Llano, art critic Peio Aguirre and artists Babi Badalov, Mauro Cerqueira and Loreto Martinez Troncoso

La Galerie, Contemporary Art Centre
1, rue Jean Jaurès
93130 Noisy-le-Sec
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 2–6pm,
Saturday 2–7pm, and by appointment
Admission free

T +33 (0) 1 49 42 67 17

A proposal by Pedro de Llano, curator in residency

As part of the annual foreign curator in residency programme, La Galerie is welcoming Pedro de Llano (Spain).

The exhibition Disparity and Demand explores the role of affects in contemporary urban life, social networks and production systems. From domestic spaces to virtual environments, this exhibition addresses the interstitial spaces in which “effectivity” and “affectivity” struggle.

Disparity and Demand is also the title of one of Juan Luis Moraza’s works: deliberately technocratic, it wryly refers to the ambiguous status of contemporary affects. “Disparity” invites us to think about unequal relationships between individuals, but can also refer to the bureaucratic, commercial and virtual Leviathan. On the other hand, “demand” seems to suggest a kind of “vampirism” created by markets, governments and social networking that speculates upon emotions and that people have to deal with on a daily basis. Paris, a city where this bipolar nature of affects is always present and conflictual, as highlighted in much of the best contemporary French cinema (L’inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake) by Alain Guiraudie or Jeune et Jolie (Young and Beautiful) by François Ozon) seems to be an ideal place to start a conversation about this paradox.

An important inspiration for the exhibition was “The Affectivist Manifesto” (2008) by Brian Holmes in which he defines affect as a “shared reality”—”a split from the private self in which each person was formerly enclosed, and from the social order which imposed that particular type of privacy or privation.” This concept indicates the different scales in which affect acts: intimacy, society, the virtual world with all their possible levels or internal nuances: friendship, family, love, nation, culture, etc. The exhibition reflects the concept of expanding the private sphere to social space: it grows in a spiral movement centred around the intimate character of Juan Luis Moraza’s work. It then expands via the works installed in the rooms facing the street, with a more intense social vocation, such as the “diagrams” by Ricardo Basbaum, the stories by Loreto Martínez Troncoso or Babi Badalov’s efforts to get the political refugee status in France—dissolving the boundaries between the interior and exterior of La Galerie.

March 21, 2014

EASTERIA – Gandy gallery presents Babi Badalov – Nikolay Oleynikov

Filed under: Artworks — babibadalov @ 10:34 am
Gandy gallery presents Babi Badalov – Nikolay Oleynikov – EASTERIAArchive | Information & News
10 Mar 2014 to 9 May 2014
Gandy Gallery
Sienkiewiczova 4
811 09
Eastern Europe
T: +421 915203082
F: +421 252635616
Artists in this exhibition:
Babi Badalov – Nikolay Oleynikov EASTERIAOpening reception: Tuesday March 10 th from 18.00 to 20.00 in presence of the artist Exhibition March 11,2014 – May 9,2014“Hysterical Materialism”From now on, we claim that hysteria should be considered not as an incidental misfortune of singular individuals in bourgeois society, but as an open possibility and a driving force for the class struggle.…the first thing about hysterical symptom is that it has a certain historical background and refers back to a certain event in the past, a traumatic event, perhaps, deeply forgotten by the hysterical subject. Something deeply forgotten thus nevertheless makes us know about it through a hysterical symptom. Hysteria therefore can be regarded as a kind of memory, an embodied memory, a memory whose subject is a material body of the patient. Hysteria thus presupposes history, and hysterical materialism can take the historical materiality of the hysterical body as its starting point. As Walter Benjamin says, the angel of hysteria looks back at the past, which still needs to be redeemed, and a hysterical symptom as a memory of the forgotten each time reveals a certain crack in the present, where a traumatic event dwells. Only that hysterical will have the gift of fanning the spark of hope in the past who is firmly convinced that even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins.
– Oxana TimofeevaOxana Timofeeva is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy of Russian Academy of Science and currently a Humboldtian Fellow at Humboldt University in Berlin. She is a member of Russian collective “Chto Delat?” (“What is to be Done”?), and the author of books “Introduction to the Erotic Philosophy of Georges Bataille (2009, Moscow, in Russian) and “History of Animals: An Essay on Negativity, Immanence and Freedom” (2012, Maastricht).Gandy gallery is very pleased to present a joint exhibition by BABI BADALOV and NIKOLAY OLEYNIKOV. This is the second time that Babi has exhibited his work at the gallery in Bratislava.BABI BADALOV was born in Lerik(1958), a small town near the Iranian border in the Talysh region of Azerbaijan, to an Azeri father and a Talysh mother. After serving two years in the Soviet Army, he moved to Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in 1980, where he quickly became a leading underground artist and a member of the unofficial artists group TEII.Badalov participated in numerous art shows with the group in Russia and abroad. In the late 1980s, he met artists Vadim Ovchinnikov and Timur Novikov, members of the New Artists Group, and became involved in a variety of their projects and art campaigns.
Badalov always found different ways of expressing his ideas through art objects, paintings, installations and live performances. He also tested himself on the movie set of avant-garde Russian film director Evgeniy Kondratiev.In addition to his visual explorations, Badalov experiments with words and writes obscure poetry, mixing the languages and mentalities of different cultures. Even though Russian is not his first language,he won the Pushkinskaya 10 poetry contest.
In 1990, Badalov mysteriously disappeared from the St. Petersburg art scene and became a legendary figure, and an inspiration and a role model for younger generations of Russian artists.
Today, Badalov continues to exhibit around the world and develop his new ideas. His latest concept was a series of ecological art objects called Dolls for Adults, where he isolated the plastic of nature inside his own clothes. He is also working on a number of visual projects dedicated to linguistic explorations, questioning how a person can become the victim of a language barrier, trying to untangle the confusion of the Cyrillic/Latin mix.
His latest exhibitions are Manifesta 8 in Murcia/Cartagena, Spain, The Watchmen, the Liars, the Dreamers in Le Plateau, Center For Contemporary Art, Paris and Lonely at the Top in MuHKA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp,RE-ALIGNED ART» Tromsø Kunstforening, Norway,15 th Jakarta Biennale,and in 2014 “Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module”, New Museum, New York,and a solo exhibition 2010 “My life Report In Paris” Tranzit Display gallery, Prague and 2013 “PORTO – ΠOPTO” A Certain Lack of Coherence, Porto

NIKOLAY OLEYNIKOV (1976) is a Moscow based artist and activist, member of Chto Delat?, editor for Chto Delat? newspaper, member of editorial board of Moscow Art Magazine (2011), co-founder of the Learning Film Group, and May Congress of Creative Workers, member of the Arkady Kots band. Known for his didactic murals and graphic works within the tradition of the Soviet monumental school, comics, surrealist-like imaginary and punk culture. Represented worldwide by his solo projects as well as with number of collective activities, Oleynikov has had numerous international shows including Fargfabriken, Stockholm; Musée d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris – MAM/ARC, Paris; Serralves Museum, Porto; Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella; Museo dell Arte Contemporaneo Luiggi Pecci, Prato; Ammirato Culture House, Lecce; Lungomare, Bolzano; KOMPLOT, Bruxelles; X BALTIC TRIENNALE in Vilnius; KIBLA, Maribor; <rotor>, Graz; Welling School, London; State Tretyakov Gallery and Paperworks Gallery, Moscow. Oleynikov is an author of a book SEX of the OPPRESSED, Moscow, 2013-14

Oleynikov’s part of this significant duo’s display features a selection of graphics works which has been included in his recently published book Sex of the Oppressed (Moscow, 2013). This selection of works is eloquent; a collection can be defined as a self-portrait, a synthesis of ideas and interest, dreams and utopias. It is deeply personal. So Oleynikov’s Romantic Collection evokes a more intimate dimension, witnessed by the format of the works. Each one is like a refrain; a part of a song that becomes an intimate narration. Using the very intimate medium of hand drawings and ink on paper, Oleynikov brings together personal reactions and intimacy in a very political way, reflecting the dramatic changes recently experienced by Russian society, and more precisely resonating with the so called “anti-gay law” and its possible consequences. A new series of known Oleynikov’s textile works made especially for EASTERIA are the flags based on punk-surrealist-like story of the death of Marat. Marat though is represented as a dog-headed androginous beast involved equally in political, creative and sexual actions.

Please do not hesitate to contact the gallery for any further information.
We look forward to welcoming you!
Best regards, Nadine Gandy

Gandy gallery
Sienkiewiczova 4
Bratislava – Slovakia
+421 915203082













February 22, 2014

“Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module”, New Museum, New York, 01/22/14 – 04/13/14

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December 16, 2013


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Lettres, mots, dessins, photos, tissus, sacs, T-shirts, chaussures, papiers, cartons, murs, détritus, objets perdus ou jetés, puis glanés dans la rue par l’artiste, Babi Badalov transforme tout en matériau artistique, surtout lorsqu’il est pauvre dans sa valeur d’usage. Lettre, mot, phrase, image, tout est déconstruit, libéré de la contrainte de la norme, de la logique convenue. Signifiants et signifiés sont amplifiés, séparés, déliés pour acquérir une autre forme, un sens nouveau ouvert à une multitude d’interprétations pour muter vers une poésie très personnelle et très politique à la fois, ce qu’il appelle « Poésie visuelle ». Contrepèteries, jeux de mots basculent les conventions, moquent les grands noms et les phrases toutes faites. Même les acquis des quatre années de formation au collège artistique de Bakou volent en éclats. Les langues, la structure des signes, les alphabets, les sujets personnels et politiques, la mort de sa mère, la nostalgie du village de Lerik, l’histoire de l’art, sa détention au Royaume-Uni, son identité sexuelle, son image et celle des autres, les abus et les dérives du pouvoir sur toute la planète. Tout se confond, tout est déhiérarchisé. Une confusion des langages, un brouillage des frontières, une déliquescence des systèmes qu’il provoque pour questionner la vraie signification de la rigueur de la norme.
Pourtant, entre les mots et les images, Babi dessinent des lignes, comme les liens invisibles unissant pensée et langage. Comme si des lignes se formaient entre l’intérieur de sa tête et le monde qui l’entoure. Des lignes sur du papier marqué par les stries du stylo qui se changent en boyaux, en arborescence végétale ou damier d’un échiquier. La ligne est passage, la ligne est trait d’union, la ligne est lien. Elle est pensée, lettre, mot, elle est visage. La lettre aussi peut devenir visage. Babi cherche avec le dessin automatique qu’il pratique méthodiquement à mettre du liant. Dans un élan pulsionnel, il donne une forme à des processus psychique d’association et de mise en relation. Le dessin, le signe, le mot, l’ornement sont aussi réparateurs de l’image souvent meurtrie des humains. Ils viennent combler une béance, permettre les passages, mettre en liaison, reconstituer une identité questionnée.
Les matériaux sont pauvres, comme les techniques : collage, coloriage, écriture griffonnée sur des cahiers, des feuilles de papier, des bouts de draps qui font office de tenture, de panneau d’écriture. Babi Badalov ne cherche pas le beau, la maîtrise, la virtuosité. Son ornementation reste celle d’un enfant coloriant son cahier d’écolier. L’artiste se fait aussi quotidiennement chiffonnier pour collecter toutes ces photos, cartes de visite, étiquettes et prospectus qu’il utilise dans ses collages. Cet attachement au matériau de récupération, au geste de tous les jours se veut même, chez lui, plus qu’un reliquat d’habitude soviétique, un acte, une posture
politique. Même la réutilisation des courriers administratifs comme support de collage et de dessin est un pied de nez à l’Etat français dévoreur de papier. Tout ce qui l’entoure et l’assaille au quotidien, est ingurgité et digéré et transformé. Ainsi en va-t-il de ses nombreuses expériences de vie, que ce soit les foisonnantes années de l’underground pétersbourgeois ou l’humiliante expulsion du Royaume-Uni, jusqu’aux tracas consulaires d’un simple détenteur d’un « Titre de voyage », passeport du réfugié pour voyager hors d’Europe. Plus, il fait de ses difficultés sa force, ses atouts : la confusion des langues (l’artiste en parle six, mais aucune parfaitement), l’isolement social et culturel (il a grandi dans un village de la frontière iranienne en Azerbaïdjan alors soviétique), le statut d’exilé, homosexuel, banni de chez lui. Il en fait chronique sur tout ce qu’il trouve de supports simples et légers quitte à remplir les espaces d’exposition de son journal mural. Car pour Babi Badalov l’art est existentiel, l’art est politique.

Mireille Besnard

uma certa

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