Teymur Daimi “Beyond Proactivity and Reactivity. The Efficacy of a Contemplative Pause”

Teymur Daimi “Beyond Proactivity and Reactivity. The Efficacy of a Contemplative Pause”Teymur Daimi “Beyond Proactivity and Reactivity. The Efficacy of a Contemplative Pause”


Considering Azerbaijan’s art community as a collective consciousness consisting of five levels (or strata) and resembling a mandala, the speaker will perform an original analytical introspection, shifting attention from the more peripheral levels to the central, vacuous one…

Despite the fact that 28 year have passed since disintegration of the Soviet Union and the union’s former countries have more or less integrated into the global community, a certain whole that constitutes a common mental field of this geocultural space still exists. It doesn’t matter whether we call it the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, or the Eurasian space. The main thing is that the peoples inhabiting this territory will, one way or another, continue to interact with each other on various levels and independently of changing political environments. Since contemporary art operates as the most mobile and transnational form of culture today, it is extremely interesting to analyze its internal architectonics. The structure of the art community of one of the former Soviet countries, Azerbaijan, can (with certain reservations) be extrapolated onto the situation in other post-Soviet republics. Although it is possible that the situation of art in these countries may differ. However, there is some certainty that the questions posed by contemporary artists, curators, and thinkers are universal for all the players on the field. What (if anything) makes the contemporary art of these countries contemporary and of interest to the international art world? How successful have the artistic elites of the former Soviet countries been in overcoming their secondariness (for which read “inferiority complex”) within the authentic Western cultural context and in freeing themselves from the image of exotic (aboriginal) cultures that may be popular in the West? And how legitimate is it to discuss contemporary art in the framework of national cultural formats when it has long been personalized par excellence?



Teymur Daimi (b. 1966, Baku) is an artist, filmmaker, and philosopher, and head of the Drawing Department at the Art College of Azerbaijan State Academy of Arts. In 2000, he defended his Candidate’s degree thesis at the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan. In 2006, he was the co-editor of the international contemporary art journal Cord. In 2007 and 2011 he was part of the team which developed the concept for the Azerbaijan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and in 2009 his work was featured in the Azerbaijan Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale. He is the author of Finding the Way (1996) and numerous texts on contemporary art for various art journals, including Moscow Art Magazine, Focus, Cord, and Loop. He has created and directed a number of experimental films and the feature-length film The Last One (2011). He lives and works in Baku.