crude oil sludge on canvas, 85 x 120 cm each
The works of the series “Oil Field Paintings” were created on one of the world’s oldest oil fields, in Bibi Heybat, Baku. In a kind of »Plein Air« action, ironically engaging traditions of landscape painting – such as Impressionist as well as Abstract Expressionist techniques – crude oil is taken directly from oil spills in the landscape and carried onto white canvases. Applied in coarse gestures, the paintings are recordings of the different material characteristics and aesthetic qualities of oil. These range in color from dark black to light brown and encompass different textures and haptic properties, states of liquidity and solidity. The performance-like process of painting the “Oil Field Paintings” was interrupted by the national security force controlling the Biby Heybat oil fields, foregrounding the territorial power relations, in which this resource is enmeshed.