Zeigam Azizov is British artist, essayist and philosopher. He was born in the former USSR, (Azerbaijan SSR) and currently lives and works in London (UK). He was trained in art, philosophy and cultural theory in the UK, France and Austria. He completed his studies in philosophy and art in England in the early 1990s, what he couldn’t receive in the former Soviet Union for ideological reasons, although initially planned to devote himself to philosophy completely. Taking his artistic studies as a philosophical activity he has exhibited and written texts about his projects extensively.
Since the middle of 1980s, while living in St. Petersburg (former Leningrad) actively involved in the art world, exhibiting and publishing his work. He exhibited his work worldwide, including most recently: the Venice Biennale ( Azerbaijan Pavilion, 2019), The Time Salon (Sydney, Australia,2017), the Venice Biennale (2011 and 2003), Tate Modern, London, UK (2006), House der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2004), Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria (2002), and TN Probe, Tokyo, Japan (2001) among others.
His work is addressing narrative procedures of globalization provided by global migrations, the culture industry and new media. He is one of the pioneering artists to study the ‘migration paradigm’ as a novel understanding of the movement of globalization and space-time relationships, what he calls ‘migrasophia’ (migration+philosophy). Since 1993 this project was partly made in the collaboration with the cultural theorist Stuart Hall, who became a close friend and collaborator.
Informed by practices of screen and cinema, linguistics and programming as well as by philosophy his work takes the form of visual (films, paintings) and textual (articles, books) essays. Central to his work is the study of ‘temporal objects’ and their articulation in the ‘recorded memory’, which he explores in essay-installations, by juxtaposing videos, films, drawings and texts. The main interest of his work is to discover “non-fascistic ways of existence”. Late work is an increasing interest in questions of ‘objects of time’ in order to critically engage in ‘a temporal industrialisation of consciousness’. Initially based on his interests of language and linguistic errors, this study is developed in relation to themes of migrations, temporality, programming, the time of the image and fuzzy objects.
He also studied philosophy with a particular interest in the notion of ‘temporal objects’ by Edmund Husserl and the critique of the ‘industrial temporalisation of consciousness’ by Bernard Stiegler. The way how images influence/constitute subjects as images are remnants of time is the question extended for this philosophical research connecting his artistic and philosophical interests. He started his DPhil (Doctor of Philosophy) at Goldsmith University of London and later moved to the Klagenfurt University in Austria for reasons of supervising and completed his thesis “A Philosophical Exploration of the Image in the work of Bernard Stiegler” with Professor Rainer Winter. This thesis is developed into a book as a new philosophical theory of the image entitled “The Time of the Image”.
As a part of his practice he has been lecturing and teaching in different universities including Central St.Martin’s College of Art and Design, Goldsmiths University of London, Vienna Academy of Art, the University of Aberdeen and the University of Klagenfurt. He also lectured worldwide in galleries and museums.