Interview with the artist and curator Shalva Khakhanashvili, connected with


1. Presentation 


1. Could you present yourself? 


I am Teymur Daimi 


2. Would you mind to tell me something from your childhood...?


What can I say about my childhood? Honestly I remember my childhood badly very much. Nothing concrete. The only thing that has been kept by my memory is numerous travels I did with my parents (basically within Soviet Union). 



3. Have you served in an army...? 


I served in a Soviet army from 1985 to 1987 years. 

2. Cultural background. 


What is cultural background? 


To my mind cultural background is the aggregate of characters of environment that influence one's upbringing, education and basically outlook. 


2. Could you tell me something about your town, country, region...? 


Of course, as probably anyone I consider my own town and country to be the best and most beautiful all over the world so in this question I can not keeping objectivity. Azerbaijan and especially Baku are the one of the most ancient cultural regions on our planet. Evidence of it - "primitive" and mysterious art of pristine creators that was reflected in rock drawings of Gobustan (area not far from Baku), which is in its turn historically can be traced back to the Mesolithic epoch. Still now in my own creation I often appeal to the inexhaustible energetic source of those "primitive" artists…As for talk about my Native-Land, you see, it is not so easy task for me, because if I begin I will hardly can stop… 


3. What o Caucasus means for you...? 


The same about Caucasus on the whole. I am proud that belong to this legendary and fairy-tale region. And the fact that there are so many nonstop national conflicts inspired from outside evidences of its big geopolitical and geocultural significance in the modern world, when many powerful countries are constantly trying to subordinate these rich in all meanings region. 

3. Occupation (profession) 


1. What is your formation, education...? 


I graduated from the State Art College in 1985 in 1993 from the State University of Art and Culture (both in Baku). Besides, 1985-2000 post-graduate student of the department of "Ethics and aesthetics" of Institute of Philosophy and Law of Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences, and in 2000 - defense of the dissertation by philosophy and receipt Ph.D. Subject of dissertation: "Postmodernism and problem of tradition in contemporary fine art" 


2. What kind of professional activity you exercise...? 


I am doing activity basically in contemporary art and since 1993 have worked at the Azerbaijan State Art College as a drawing teacher. 

3. How (if) you come to the art world...? 


Once by studding at school I was walking in the park and saw artist painting landscape. It was absolutely fantastic for me: it had been nothing on the canvas and in some time the rather nice picture was appeared before my eyes. It could be likened with magic and was enough to me to decade to become an artist. 

4. Politics. 


1,2. Could you describe any major political event in XX-XXI century...? Does the world changed after 11 September...? How? 


Before 11 the September I would have called the "Grate Socialist Revolution" in 17-th October in Russia as the major political event in XX-XXI century. Now to me, date of 11 the September connected with tragical events in United States is the turning point of human history. A lot of experts and analysts maintain that world has undoubtedly changed after this date. So do I. But how and in what direction? I am sure that world has changed for the worse and became much more aggressive than before. It is the inexcusable mistake all things to reduce up to the factor of international terrorism only, which actually can be defined exclusively as consequence, that is result, but definitely not as the major reason. I do believe that activation of so-called international terrorism is the painful reaction of nonconformist elite (directly or indirectly inspiring the activity of majority of terrorist organizations) on globalization processes in the world, which, in turns, does not take into consideration the national specifics and different local traditions of any regions. For in additional to: 11 the September was the sign of Providence that must be decoded by us… 

4. Could you give your definition of an artist…? Artist in XXI century...? 


It is a very good and important question for any contemporary artist. I think that the notion "artist" is gradually mutating towards something indefinite. Artist as well as contemporary art on the whole must be changed in their status. It's requirement of age. It is fact that during the last decades, contemporary art (by the way as well as contemporary science) transformed into some closed institution which seems to be isolated from reality and real needs of people living in modern life. Artist and scientist do activity within rather closed sphere using special language that is definitely incomprehensible for majority of ordinary people. It makes contemporary art and artist alien for many and many people. This situation must be changed by all means. Artist, from my point of view, is (or at any rate has to be) principally nonconformist and permanent revolutionary the main aim of whom consists in provoking the mass conciseness (in order to free it from conditioned states) by means of creating the extraordinary esthetic situation and space. In XXI century artist by assimilating in his creative image different meta-conceptual strategies inherent to various professions (in first turn scientist-investigator and radical politician) will be have much more real influence on society. At any rate I hope so. 

5. Identity. 


1. Could you give the interpretation to Local-Global...? Universal? 


It is philosophical subject of interaction between oneness and multitude. We are living on one earth which, at the same time, cruelly separated (by people themselves) on so many sectors. Diversity of the world is undoubtedly the positive factor. But so called globalization, taking place at present, unfortunately, methodically destroying the national peculiarities, that on the one hand help all nations to integrate into world community, but on the other hand isolates them from their own national rotes. I think we have to go on the integrative processes into world community, but keeping our ancient traditions alive. 

2. Which generation do you belong to...? 


"Generation" is notion connected with the time factor. I do think that the artist has to be over the time and not to be depended on it. So despite on the fact that I came in art world in 90-th, I feel the deep connection with almost all great contemporary artists (XX c.) of all generations, because their creative discoveries belong to all times and generations without exception. 


3. Is there a Caucasian Cultural Unity...? 


To my mind there is not a Caucasian Cultural Unity. By some reasons (wars and conflicts) we are strongly disconnected. Often we know about, say, European or American contemporary art (I mean current events) more than what is happening near to us. We must be doing all we can this abnormal situation to be changed for the better. 

6. Arts & Culture. 


1. Could you give your definition to the Contemporary Art...? 


See 4.3. In for addition to: Contemporary Art executes the function that in early times was fulfilled by religion. 

2. What role does it play the photography in the contemporary art ...? 


The photography may be playing one of the important roles in the contemporary art. There are too many events and cases that constantly happening in modern world which at the same time with fantastic speed replace each other. To comprehend all of them for following analyzing, interpretations etc. by using the traditional means only, is almost impossible. Photography lets successfully decade this problem and so we can notice that almost no artwork belonging to contemporary art created without photography used in its different functions. 


3. Has the photography its own roots (a school) in Caucasus...? Any examples... 
Unfortunately I have no information to these question, which ought to be directed to art-historians probably. 

7. Strategy. 


1. How the politics, economy, philosophy...influence the art & culture today...? 
Since the 70-th in art & culture the dominant tendency has been paradigmatical model of conceptualism (not as concrete well-known trend of 70-th, but as global outlook, that inherent to postmodern strategy also) coursed forming particular intellectual status of contemporary artist. According to this intellectual status, artist is fully open to mental influences of different spheres of modern society, including, in first turn, politics and economy. But it is the hard oppression of physical-financial-economic factors that are much more important (in negative sense) than influences of politics and economy, as it is not secret that contemporary art (particularly linked with newest technologies) deeply connected with economical conditions. As for our republic I say, that if we take into consideration the profound physical -economic crisis in the country, it is easy to conceive how much problematic for the most of Azerbaijani artists is to deal with contemporary art. And it seems to me that the same situation is observed in Georgia and Armenia also. 

2. Is the Caucasian artist integrated into the contemporary art world...? 
The Caucasian artist is integrated into contemporary art world, but very likely not so much as representatives of Caucasian culture itself as just independent creative person only. The result is that artist assimilates in western cultural context losing connection with his own traditional cultural background. 

3. What are the priorities for the developments of a new culture in Caucasus...? 
As I have mentioned, contemporary art is linked with physical-financial-economic conditions. Correspondingly, the developments of a new culture will be depend on positive changing in above-mentioned points, which is supposed active integration of Caucasian region into European social- culturalogical structures. In this connection, it is very important for Caucasian contemporary cultural institutions to be appealed by global world cultural system...