Rustamova translates issues like displacement, language and identity into installations and videos, in which she combines audio and photography.
For her first solo exhibition in the Netherlands, Meggy Rustamova (°1985) presents videos and installations in which she combines photography and audio. Rustamova was born in Georgia but moved to Belgium via the Netherlands with her mother at the age of eight. While never referring explicitly to her origins, themes such as language, identity and displacement are central to her work. She approaches these subjects sometimes through performances, and at others using photos or sound installations. The medium in which she works most is video.
Themes in her work
The starting point for Rustamova’s videos is often formed by found photos – sometimes with the addition of photos she has taken herself – which she then transfers to film and around which she constructs a storyline. Rustamova’s videos operate in the twilight zone between fiction and reality, personal and collective memory. Watching them, we can’t help but wonder whether this is about her own family history, or completely invented.
In the videos, Rustamova’s camera gradually explores the photos in the minutest detail, heightening the tension in the relationship between static and moving images. Rustamova’s work is also about images and how these present a correct or incorrect reflection of our lives. About seeing, but equally about not seeing. For example in the video Green Black Out (2014-2017), the basis for which is a series of failed photos from a trip to the Black Sea, bathed in a green filter. This forms the starting point for a poetic visual essay on memory, the power of the imagination and the inability of photography to completely capture reality.
Her work is about language as much as it is about gibberish. For example in Waiting for the secret (2014), in which her camera once again slowly scans a photo while the translation of a text in Esperanto drops out, leaving the viewer to work out what is being said. Rustamova frequently stimulates the viewer’s imagination, inviting us to fill in the blank spaces for ourselves. This is certainly the case in Light Displacement, her first solo exhibition in the Netherlands.
About Meggy Rustamova
Meggy Rustamova lives and works in Ghent. As a child, she migrated from Georgia with her Assyrian mother, finally settling in Belgium after moving around the Netherlands. After studying theatre at the Herman Teirlinck Institute, she obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in visual art from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK), and spent some time at the Universität der Künste in Berlin and the Higher Institute for Fine Arts (HISK) in Ghent.
In recent years, her oeuvre has become increasingly international. She has exhibited at International Film Festival Rotterdam (2016 and 2017), in S.M.A.K. in Ghent (2016), Beursschouwburg Brussels (2016), Tallinn Art Hall (2016), Bureau des Réalités, Brussels (2015), Kunsthalle Wien (2015) and the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht (2014).
|Images||Light deportations © Meggy Rustamova 2017|
|L’invitation au Voyage © Meggy Rustamova 2014|
|Observations © Meggy Rustamova 2015, installation view Beursschouwburg Brussels|
|curated by||Wytske Visser|