Agil Abdullayev             Works       Info

b. 1992, Baku, Azerbaijan

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2023)
BA Fine Art, Nottingham Trent University, UK (2018)

Agil Abdullayev is an interdisciplinary artist whose work investigates themes of queer representation, trauma, vulnerability, and escapism as they continuously shift through public and private memory and thoughts. Working across film, photography, and painting, Agil's practice is semi-biographical as many of their films take the point of departure from their childhood experiences and regard their personal history as a queer archive. Often manifested through their personal diary or essays, as well as closely working with the local queer community their practice examines reginally not well-documented queer subjects such as alter-egos, escapism, and cruising culture. Agil often revisits queer intimacy, self-reflection, anger, fear, and belonging in their works to create a space of hyper-possibility where representations of queer narratives can be disrupted, re-articulated, and reinvented.

In 2022, Abdullayev received the Seed Award from the Prince Claus Foundation (NL) and was a recipient of the Artlink Prize from SudKultur Fond (Swiss). Past exhibitions include MoMA (Georgia), Istanbul Contemporary (TR), Asian Art Museum (USA), Peabody Essex Museum (USA), Tate (London), Liverpool Biennial, South London Gallery, and Blindspot Gallery (Hong Kong). They have participated in artist-in-residency programs such as Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture (Madison, ME, USA), Meet Factory (Prague, Cz), Cittadellarte (Biella, IT), Goethe Institute (Tbilisi, Georgia) and Artlinks CEC (Almaty, KZ).

In 2020, Agil founded a critical discussion and writing platform, "Çağdaşçılar" (eng: contemporaries) as a response to institutional censorship, lack of contemporary art media and art criticism and to support emerging and marginalized artists and cultural workers. They also founded ARTAZ ( a database of artists from Azerbaijan created in order to support the promotion of the Azerbaijani contemporary art scene in the international arena. ARTAZ developed an online database for local artists, regardless of their gender, sex, race, and cultural-social-political views, now it brings together more than 125 artists and cultural workers including but not limited to painters, sculptors, video artists, curators, researchers, photographers, directors from contemporary and post-modern movements, is updated monthly.

Selected solo exhibitions:
2023: Changing room, The Why Not Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia
2018: Shy boy of the pink future, Artim Project Space, Baku, Azerbaijan | Curated by Anna Fech
2018: Watch in a bright room and at a safe distance from the TV!, The Trophy Room, Liverpool, UK | curated by Harry Meadley

Selected group exhibitions/screenings/performances:
Maastricht, Netherlands (upcoming)
2024: The secret life of plants and trees, Kunstpavilion, Innsbruck, Austria | curated by Andrei Siclodi
2024: Paadmaan Video Event #3, Supermarket Art Fair, Stockholm, Sweden

2023: VerbivocoVirtual Pavilion, The Wrong Biennale
2023: Pink Black, Painting Museum, Baku, Azerbaijan
2023: Preserved Nature, National Arts Museum, Baku, Azerbaijan
2023: After Hope: Videos of Resistance, Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts, USA

2022: Rewriting childhood (with Farhad Farzali), Gazelli Art House, Baku, Azerbaijan
2022: Play and loop IV, Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong | curated by Nick Yu

2021: New Horizons, The Writers’ House, Tbilisi, Georgia | curated by Elene Kapanedze
2021: Haft Paykar, Kapellhaus, Goethe Institut, Baku, Azerbaijan | curated by Alfons Hug
2021: Do not run! This is only a mirage you see, Artim Project Space, Baku, Azerbaijan | curated by Zahra Mammadova
2021: After hope, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, US | curated by Abby Chen and Padma Maitland

2020: Two snaps of the post-modern society (solo screening), Salaam Cinema, Baku, Azerbaijan
Off the velvet chest, Smena - contemporary art space, Kazan, Tatarstan | curated by Asli Samadova

2019: Off the velvet chest, Triumph Gallery, Moscow, Russia | curated by Asli Samadova2019: That’s why I don’t hang out with cool kids, Yarat Contemporary Art Space, Baku, Azerbaijan
2019: F®ictions, DIY Space for London, UK
2019: Across the mountains: South Caucasus Photography, MOMA, Tbilisi, Georgia | curated by Anna Shpakova2019: Ta(r)rdino6 at Art Spaces Section, Contemporary Istanbul Fair, Turkey
2019: Forget what you know, see who I am, Artim Project Space, Baku, Azerbaijan | curated by Anna Fech
2019: Video Wortex: There will be different tomorrow, Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta, Malta
2019: To be woman, HIVE alternative Pavilion, Tbilisi Art Fair, Georgia
2019: For the time being, The Photographers Gallery, London, UK | Curated by Rachel Chiodo, Sitara Chowfla, Hang Li, Esther Moerdler, Carlos Pinto
2019: On the tip of other tongues, Artim Project Space, Baku, Azerbaijan  | Curated by Anna Fech
2019: Becoming, Freehold Projects, Leeds, UK
2019: Hometown Weather, Salaam Cinema, Baku, Azerbaijan

2018: New Contemporaries, South London Gallery, London, UK
2018: Where are you at these interesting times?, AIR Gallery, Manchester, UK | Curated by Scaffold Collective
2018: Fluid Sense of Presence, One Thoresby Street, Nottingham, UK
2018: lgbt+f: planet 2028, LUX, London, England, United Kingdom | Curated by Seema Mattu
2018: Film Free and Easy, Primary, Nottingham, UK
2018: New Contemporaries, Liverpool Biennale, England, United Kingdom
2018: Capitalism stole my virginity, Surface Gallery, Nottingham, UK | Curated by Agil Abdullayev and Katie Bishop

2017: The 15 Cmdments, The Wrong - New Digital Art Biennale, Online  | Curated by Sid and Jim
2017: Repost_Modern, Omni Modern Gallery, Online | Curated by Tyler Robarge
2017: Me: Also Me:, Wuu2’s website, Online
2017: Is this real lyf??, B&D Studios, Newcastle, UK  | Curated by Stacey Davidson
2017: Boys don’t cry, Artim Project Space, Baku, Azerbaijan | Curated by Anna Fech
2017: Howz Sho, Alternative art location, Nottingham, UK
2017: Film free and easy: Spring Roll, Primary, Nottingham, UK

2016: Film Free and Easy, Primary, Nottingham, UK
2016: Future Late Weekend, Tate Modern, London, UK | Curated by Tate Collectives
2016: Film free and easy: Fall Roll, Primary, Nottingham, UK

2015: Limit to transit, Kicik Qala Art Gallery, Baku, Azerbaijan

2014: ASTAR, MOMA, Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Russia | Curated by Naila Allakhverdieva

Artist-in-residency/visiting programs:
2024: Fellowship, Künstlerhaus büchsenhausen, Innsbruck, Austria
2023: Creative Solution, Almaty, Kazakhstan
2022: Meet Factory, Prague, Czech Republic
2021: New Horizons AIR, Goethe Institute, Tbilisi, Georgia
2019: Cittadellarte - Pistoletto Foundation, Biella, Italy
2019: International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, Salzburg, Austria
2019: The Art Prospect Exchange Fellowship, CEC Artlinks, NYC, US
2018: Group Residency, One Thoresby Street, Nottingham, UK
2018: Dostum January, Online Residency,
2017: WUU2 Mate?, Online Residence,
2017: A Lifeless Lifestyle, Online Residency, Cyberplynth

2022: Seed Award, Prince Claus Fund
2022: Artlink’s 100 artist winner, SudKultur Fund
2022: MicroProject, EVZ Youth Foundation
2019: Fellowship Program by Art Prospect, CEC Artlink
2019: Short course grant by BKA Eastern Europe. Salzburg, Austria
2018: Studio bursary by One Thoresby Street. Nottingham, UK
2018: Artist of the month, TOMBOY LTD. LONDON, UK

Curatorial Projects:
2021: Presence; Nur Art House, Baku, Azerbaijan
Artists: Mehrin Ali, Elchin Mikailov, Bashga Rassam, Sujayat Ismayilova, Nermin Zey
2019: Women with moustaches and men without beards; Salaam Cinema, Baku, Azerbaijan Artists: Rene Matic, Taus Makhacheva, Ilkin Huseynov, Equals Collective, AZAD LGBT
2018: My chain hits my chest (in collab with Heidi Chan and Katie Bishop); One Thoresby Street, Nottingham, UK Artists: Annie-Marie Akussah, Wendy Asumadu, Sitara Ibrahimova, Rene Matic, Seema Mattu, Zarina Muhammad, Zandile Nyamande, Grace Payne
2018: Capitalism stole my virginity (in collab with Katie Bishop); Surface Gallery, Nottingham, UKArtists: Pádraig Condron, Charlie Dean, Christos Gkenoudis, Demi Hill, Tiffany Hunt, Phoebe Neil, Jake Moore, Takudzwa Mukomberanwa, Aiden Slee, and Tiffany Slowick
2017: Me: also Me; Wuu2’s website, Online
Artists: Ami Cure, Ellen Moss, Craig D. Parr, Hollie Grace, Hollie Page

Public talks and workshops:
2024: Artist talk, Künstlerhaus 
2023: Artist talk, BuLT, Almaty,
2022: Art School Workshops with Femutopia and Q Collective, Baku Community Space, Baku, Azerbaijan
2021: Panel discussion, The Writers’ House, Tbilisi, Georgia | Organized by Goethe Institut
2020: Panel discussion, California Polytechnic University, San Francisco, USA | Organized by Asian Art Museum
2019: Panel discussion, 8th Floor Rubin Foundation, New York City, USA | Organized by CEC Artlinks
2018: Artist talk, Yarat Contemporary Art Space, Baku, Azerbaijan
2018: Workshop lecture: Performance today, Yarat Contemporary Art Space, Baku, Azerbaijan
2018: Artist talk, Throphy room, Liverpool, UK