Agil Abdullayev             Works       Info

Pink City I (promo video: how to survive)
short film, video, color, sound, 3’

Installation view at “Play and Loop”, Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong, 2022

"Pink City I" plays with the idea of an imaginary shelter, where everyone feeling in danger can be beamed through future cyber inventions of the digital age. The first part shows mostly footage of surveillance cameras documenting violent incidents that have attract- ed much attention in social media. It imitates the media strategy to spread fear and panic raising the need for protection. In the second part, the artist, in a double version, promotes the Pink City, which takes in everyone seeking for protection, a magical place without greed, violence, and betrayal. By the strong contrast, the juxtaposition of good and evil, exposed and protected, the work questions a simplified and dualistic worldview, which creates intolerance and disdain.

Installation view at “Shy boy of the pink future” solo show at Artim Project Space, Baku, 2018

Full filmDirected, performed and edited by Agil Abdullayev

Pink City II (as soft boys go deeper)
short film, video, color, sound, 14’

**Pink City II (as soft boys go deeper)** embarks on an introspective journey into the artist’s innermost self, weaving a delicate tapestry of reality and imagination. Building on the foundation of its predecessor, "Pink City," this sequel deepens the exploration of subconscious realms, intertwining deeply personal essays with poetic self-expression to craft a rich narrative of identity, freedom, and sanctuary.

film still 12”25

The film's narrative unfolds in a vibrant, surreal world—the titular "Pink City"—a utopian space meticulously designed to transcend traditional boundaries. This space is deliberately shapeless and genderless, serving as a haven for marginalized queer individuals and others seeking refuge from the harshness of a discriminatory, often violent, reality. Here, conventional constructs dissolve, giving way to an environment that is fluid and liberating, where one can exist authentically without fear or constraint.
Through the use of experimental cinematography and an evocative score, "Pink City II" plunges viewers into the protagonist's psyche, where the line between the real and the imagined blurs. Each scene is a poetic exploration of the subconscious, inviting the audience to witness the fluidity of identity and the boundless possibilities of self-expression. The film utilizes a blend of narrative and visual metaphor, where every frame is a piece of the protagonist's internal puzzle, contributing to a broader commentary on freedom and self-acceptance.

Installation view at “Play and Loop” group show at Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong, 2022

The protagonist’s journey is portrayed through a series of vignettes that delve into various facets of their identity. These vignettes are punctuated by introspective monologues and vivid dream sequences that offer insight into their fears, desires, and hopes. The personal essays that punctuate the film serve as reflective pauses, allowing the audience to engage deeply with the protagonist’s thoughts and feelings. Each essay unpacks layers of trauma, resilience, and the quest for a safe space in a world often hostile to difference.

"Pink City II" also pays homage to the broader struggles of the LGBTQ+ community, exploring themes of acceptance, belonging, and resistance. It reflects on the societal pressures that enforce conformity and the personal courage required to defy them. The film does not shy away from confronting the pain of exclusion and discrimination, yet it also celebrates the beauty of self-discovery and the empowerment found in embracing one’s true self.

The imaginary space of Pink City is brought to life through striking visuals—lush, dreamlike landscapes that morph and shift to mirror the protagonist’s inner world. The color palette, dominated by shades of pink, purple, and blue, enhances the ethereal quality of the film, symbolizing both the fluidity of identity and the emotional spectrum of the protagonist’s journey. These visual elements are complemented by a dynamic soundtrack that ranges from hauntingly minimalist to exuberantly orchestral, mirroring the protagonist’s emotional evolution.

"Pink City II (as soft boys go deeper)" is a poignant and visually stunning exploration of identity and sanctuary. It challenges the audience to reconsider their perceptions of gender and reality, offering a vision of a world where authenticity is not just accepted but celebrated. Through its deeply personal narrative and immersive aesthetic, the film invites viewers to reflect on their own journeys of self-discovery and the spaces they inhabit, both real and imagined. Ultimately, "Pink City II" is a testament to the transformative power of creating spaces where individuals can be true to themselves, free from the constraints of societal norms and expectations.

Directed by
Agil Abdullayev

Performed by
Fargana Abdulla

Camerawork by
Chicheck Bayramli

Voice by
Agil Abdullayev

Sound design by
Farhad Farzali

Text editor and translator
Nigar Ibrahimbayli

Special thanks to
Chaikhana Media and Durna Safarova