The AZERBAIJAN PAVILION at the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia

Republic of Azerbaijan - Biennale Arte 2015

Vita Vitale
Vita Vitale examines the delicate balance of our planet’s ecosystem and the human impact on the natural world. It brings together contemporary artists from Austria, Canada, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Pakistan, Romania, Switzerland, UK, USA, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan — a presentation spanning the borders of language, cultural heritage, and geography — to raise awareness about our environment and the global transformation of the planet through human activity. Multimedia works and installations by international artists — including Mircea Cantor, Loris Cecchini, Tony Cragg, Jacco Olivier, Julian Opie, Graham Stevens, Diana Thater, and Andy Warhol— the IDEA Laboratory, a site for developing imaginative solutions for future life, and the accompanying salon programme draw links between cutting-edge research in science and art, powerfully demonstrating how technological progress has resulted in a natural world beset by deforestation, burning fossil fuels, and ocean pollution. The exhibition motivates us to reflect on our own integral roles in both the disruption and preservation of the ecology, asking us to confront the potential dangers of ignoring the messages that their works convey, while simultaneously suggesting creative tools and ideas for securing ‘all the world’s futures.’  Emin Mammadov, Artistic Advisor of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation
Beyond the line
Art can speak about environmental circumstances directly or allegorically. The Azerbaijani avant-garde artists of the mid-twentieth century, working in strictly controlled conditions, often resorted to the use of allegory. By the 1960s, artists who displayed ‘rebellious’ personal attitudes that deviated from Communist ideology were no longer arrested, executed, or banished. They were punished differently. Their works were ignored, they could not hold exhibitions, and they were not permitted to travel abroad. They were thus refused the guardianship of state structures regulating official art. Azerbaijan proudly presents their works in Beyond the Line, which showcases the Soviet period artwork of the non-conformist artists Javad Mirjavadov, Tofik Javadov, Ashraf Murad, Rasim Babayev, and sculptor Fazil Najafov. The exhibition also includes the film ‘Stepping over the Horizon’ directed by Shamil Najafzada as well as an installation by Huseyn Hagverdi, whose career suffered under Soviet rule, but whose creativity nevertheless blossomed. These displays by hitherto obscure artists represents the victory of their indestructible spirit. Today, they speak about their epoch from the heart, symbolizing ‘the ecology of the human soul.’Beyond the Line acts as a counterpoint to the international exhibition Vita Vitale (Vital Life), Azerbaijan’s second pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia.
Credits: Story

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STUDIO ESSECI - Roberta Barbaro
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Coordinator of both exhibitions
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Credits: All media
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