Aidan Salakhova

salakhovaBorn in 1964 in Moscow. Graduated as an external student from the Surikov Moscow State Art Institute (1987), and since 2002 she has taught at the same school. Since 1990 she has held over 30 solo shows in Moscow, St. Petersburg, New York, Berlin, Paris, Baku and other cities. In 1990 her work was part of the Soviet pavilion at the 44th Venice Biennale, and in 2011 she participated in the Azeri pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale. Longlisted for 2008 Kandinsky Prize in the Project of the Year category. Her works are held by the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow Museum of Modern Art and others.

Known for challenging portrayals of veiled female figures and references to religious and traditional symbolism revealing the contradictions of the patriarchal order, Aidan explores the complex and enigmatic identity of women today. She invites the viewer to analyze and uncover the secret codes of the patriarchal unconscious and neuroses. These codes are astonishingly similar in all cultures from the past to the present.
The veil, which has signified the religious and social identity of women in different cultures since antiquity, is the most important metaphor in Salakhova’s recent work. By depicting the veil as a stereotype of the East she addresses political, social, psychological and spiritual aspects of both the Islamic and Orthodox worlds. Aidan uses an archaic and poetic visual language that references Islamic miniatures and Byzantine icons, and challenges the viewer through images of covered or uncovered women.
In her series of drawings, paintings and reliefs, Aidan leads our gaze to the hands, the only visible part of the body when a women wears the hijab. The smooth white hands, and their exquisite and thrilling gestures, reflect the spirit and intelligence of the women more than their faces, and that is exactly what Aidan intends.

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