YARAT to present Nazrin Mammadova's OUROBORUM project

Baku, July21, AZERTAC

YARAT Contemporary Art Space presents the OUROBORUM game project by Nazrin Mammadova. The presentation is organised as part of the 3rd Baku Public Art Festival, 'A Drop Of Sky', curated by Sara Raza.

OUROBORUM project will launch at YARAT Contemporary Art Centre's multifunctional room on 22 July 2015.

Commissioned by YARAT Contemporary Art Space, A Drop of Sky is the 3rd Public Art Festival in Baku and will run 13 June – 5 October 2015, benefiting from the influx of an international audience for the first European Games in Baku. Visitors will have the chance to see a range of events held as part of the festival. Participating artists include Wafaa Bilal, Ergin Çavuşoğlu, Farhad Farzaliyev and Nazrin Mammadova. Artworks will be displayed at various locations throughout the city as well as through a web based component that explores the virtual public art platform. The festival will be accompanied by an education programme including YARAT Film Club, artist talks and a two-week workshop by AA Baku School: a collaboration with Architecture Association in London led by architects and AA tutors Omid Kamvari and Kasper Ax. OUROBORUM is an online game, an iOS app, and an art installation –a kinetic sculpture and reincarnation of the classical snake game. OUROBORUM is a fictional universe that includes parallel worlds which are cyclical and related to each other, in which the 'Ouroboros' always comes. The 'Ouroboros' is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail from the Greek word for the mythological tail-biting snake. The snake is a common symbol for the cycle of life and renewal. The game provides an astute commentary on the vast construction occurring in Baku, which is undergoing a fast process of reinvention. Aesthetically, OUROBORUM employs Islamic geometry common to both traditional and modern Azerbaijani architectural and cultural motifs and draws on carpet design, textiles and jewelry, and is accompanied by artificially created sounds inspired by elements taken from Azerbaijani traditional musical instruments. The audio and visual sensation of the game borrow from a language pattern that is both systematic and irregular and intended to contrast tradition with new technologies and gaming culture. OUROBORUM aspects include playing as generally a voluntary act, executed but not limited to certain fixed limits of time and place and mentally and physically challenging, separated from reality through a sanctioned play space and through an agreed but not limited fantasy or rule set.

The criticism in OUROBORUM can be fostered in order to question an aspect of the game's 'content', or an aspect of playing in a conceptual scenario with a function that might otherwise be considered a given or necessary. Criticism in OUROBORUM can provide an essential viewpoint or an analytical framework. OUROBORUM is an attempt to use critical play as an approach to create a platform of rules and tools by which to examine a specific issue – rules and tools that are relevant to the issue itself though presented in an abstract manner of expression. Critical play in OUROBORUM is characterised by a careful examination of social, cultural, political and even personal themes that function as alternates to popular playing spaces. The challenge is to find ways to make compelling, complex environments using the intricacies of critical thinking to offer novel possibilities in games, including for a wide range of players.

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