Love me, Love me not
Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan and its neighbours
Kutluğ Ataman » Shoja Azari » Orkhan Huseynov » Sitara Ibrahimova » Taus Makhacheva » Iliko Zautashvili » & others
Exhibition: 1 Jun – 24 Nov 2013
Love Me, Love Me Not
Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan and its Neighbours
Collateral Event for the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
Love Me, Love Me Not is an unprecedented exhibition of contemporary art from Azerbaijan and its neighbours, featuring recent work by 17 artists from Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey, Russia, and Georgia. Produced and supported by YARAT, a not-for-profit contemporary art organisation based in Baku, and curated by Dina Nasser-Khadivi, the exhibition will be open to the public from 1st June until 24 th November 2013 at Tesa 100, Arsenale Nord, at The 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia.
Faig Ahmed (Azerbaijan) Rashad Alakbarov (Azerbaijan) Afruz Amighi (Iran) Kutluğ Ataman (Turkey) Shoja Azari (Iran) Rashad Babayev (Azerbaijan) Mahmoud Bakhshi (Iran) Ali Banisadr (Iran) Ali Hasanov (Azerbaijan) Orkhan Huseynov (Azerbaijan) Sitara Ibrahimova (Azerbaijan) Aida Mahmudova (Azerbaijan) Taus Makhacheva (Russia) Farhad Moshiri (Iran) Farid Rasulov (Azerbaijan) Slavs and Tatars (‘Eurasia’) Iliko Zautashvili (Georgia)
"Each piece in this exhibition has a role of giving the viewers at least one new perspective on the nations represented in this pavilion, with the mere intent to give a better understanding of the area that is being covered. Showcasing work by these artists in a single exhibition aims to, ultimately, question how we each perceive history and geography. Art enables dialogue and the Venice Biennale has proven to be the best arena for cultural exchange." explains curator Dina Nasser-Khadivi.
The exhibition offers a diverse range of media and subject matter, with video, photography, installation and painting all on show. Pieces range from those steeped in historical reference, to those with more site-specific responses through to those which are inspired by personal history.
Kutluğ Ataman’s video installation Mesopotamian Dramaturgies / Column (2009) is inspired by the Trajan Column in Rome and was originally commissioned for the MAXXI (National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome). A tower of 42 used TV screens each feature the silent face a villager from Erzincan in Eastern Turkey, Ataman’s place of origin. This key work is both an attempt to show a story without narration as well as a tribute to the history of Anatolian people, who he sees as silenced throughout history.
In his most ambitious project to date, Shoja Azari will show a specially commissioned film which recreates the Haft Paykar, the romantic epic of the 12th century, by Nizami of Ganja. Haft Paykar or Seven Beauties is an allegorical romance, which takes self-knowledge as the essential path to human enlightenment as its central theme.
Orkhan Huseynov (b. 1978) creates work that is playful and peculiar, in media including video, computer prints and plastic sculptures. With plexi-glass and computer imaging he creates child-like images that at first seem innocuous but may refer to oil wealth, political power, or religious space travel.
Sitara Ibrahimova (b. 1984) creates work that is largely photographic, with some recorded performance work. She looks at many subjects, from everyday domestic spaces to memorabilia of people who left for war and never returned. Varying from emotive portraits to images of deserted areas and abandoned objects, each project sets out new questions for the viewer. In her work titled The Edge Ibrahimova’s photographs capture the human experience beyond political or geographical borders, often alluding to forms of historical and collective memory. Her images focus on emotive instances conveyed through an individual’s facial expression or pose, or expressed by a fragment or an absence. The compositions capture the poignant moments that characterize the everyday and encourage viewers to construct a narrative around each dramatic composition. The series of photos collected for this exhibition similarly seeks to both capture and convey the challenges and complications associated with historical and collective memory in the Karabakh region.
Taus Makhacheva, will re-produce a film, recently shown at the Liverpool Biennale about an abandoned silk-road city Gamsutl (2012) through a young male protagonist who “dances” to enact the fragmented qualities of the city, now half forgotten.
Iliko Zautashvili (b.1952) is an artist and professor of Art History at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts. A regular speaker at conferences he has participated in many exhibitions as a visual artist, but also as a director of video and cinema.
By bringing artists from Azerbaijan and its surrounding region together in one exhibition, Love Me, Love Me Not will create new perspectives on the contemporary art of Azerbaijan, as well as that of Iran, Turkey, Russia and Georgia.
Love Me, Love Me Not is produced by YARAT contemporary art organisation, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion and nurturing of contemporary art in Azerbaijan.