In the Perfect Wound video animation, Salahov reveals a little-known fact that during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) every Japanese soldier had a jar with Naftalan oil used to promote the healing of wounds and protecting against frostbite. This oil, which is extracted only in the Azerbaijani city of Naftalan, was known as a ‘Miracle Oil’ and used for medical purposes. A century earlier Germans, who moved to the area in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars at the invitation of Russian Tsar Alexander I, were the first to realise the commercial potential of Naftalan oil. Despite the war between Japan and Russia, this oil, extracted in the territory of the Russian Empire, was available to be purchased by the enemy’s side. The fire gifted to people by Prometheus brought both progress and devastation. If oil is an allusion to fire, Naftalan oil is an example of the progress and benefits it brings to people. Inspired by a 1974 cartoon ‘Black Gold Princess’ Samir depicts oil as a female that miraculously heals a Japanese soldier that had been wounded by a bayonet.
Video & sound, one channel, digital animation | 00:02:00 | 2019 | Japanese Language