By Laman Ismayilova
YARAT Contemporary Art Space is a great space that proves art lovers with highly-quality art projects and events.
This time, YARAT Contemporary Art Space delighted art lovers with two extraordinary exhibitions.
YARAT artistic director and the curator of "Charivari" exhibition Suad Garayeva-Maleki, curators of the exhibition "Child of Magohalmi and the Echos of Creation" Helen Nisbet and Amy Budd, artists Zadie Xa, and Taus Makhacheva told journalists about the art projects.
On the first floor, guests can enjoy a solo exhibition from Korean-Canadian artist Zadie Xa, who creates a sub-aquatic marine environment, inviting audiences to enter into an immersive world by way of atmospheric lighting, surround-sound, large-scale video projections, sculptures and costumes.
This work is a result of joint work with Art Night Festival ( London), Tramway art-space (Glasgow) and De La Warr Pavilion (Bexhill).
At YARAT, Xa combines imaginary and studied Korean folklore, creating a new reality. The artist presents her own interpretation of history, inspired by the Korean myths about the creation of the world, in the center of which is the great goddess - Grandmother Mago (Magohalmi).
Exploring the ancestral knowledge through the matrilineal social structures that are based on the separation of responsibilities between male and female deities in the creation of the universe, the work showcases the goddesses’ shift in cultural status over time, from central to marginal.
Throughout her practice, Xa uses water and marine environments as metaphors for exploring the unknown, The artist, who grew up on the west coast of Canada, relies on abstract ideas about homeland.
Often creating fantastical underwater realms, the exhibition features a large-scale, surround-sound video projection of the ocean, and a pod of orcas – a theme which is then revisited in a series of sculptures. The final element of the exhibition is comprised of costumes and masks originally used by the artist during performances at ArtNight 2019 and the 58th Venice Biennale, now presented as sculptures at YARAT.
The work featured a public program of performances by young local artists, selected in partnership with Xa. These performances took place within the exhibition space.
At the same time, art lovers enjoyed an exhibition "Charivari" by multidisciplinary artist Taus Makhacheva.
Artist whose varied practice includes performance, film, food and objects presents an interactive multimedia installation exploring Caucasus contemporaneity, through newly-commissioned work dedicated to the history of USSR circus tradition in general and Baku National Сircus in particular, in collaboration with architect Maria Serova, writer Alexander Snegirev and costume designer Panika Derevya.
The term Charivari refers to a specific circus act – a mass circus performance composed of solo and group multi-genre pieces being presented simultaneously.
With every act the rhythm gets faster and the technical complexity of the performance increases, as if artists were competing with each other showing off their comic talent and ingenuity, their skill, liveliness and temper. In the end the manege becomes full of floating and somersaulting figures.
Based on archival documents, films and photographs provided by the State Archive of Azerbaijan, the installation creates a chaotic fictional circus full of extraordinary creatures: talking horse, synthetic bears and much more.
Inviting viewers to see a living pyramid of people and animals, to witness childbirth at the circus arena, experience a virtual reality circus helmet and gain even more extensive fantastic experience, an audio piece inside the installation translates witty and ironic social and political metaphors. Through the narrative of the distant past and foreboding of the near future, the work reveals the circus absurd essence of today's reality.
The exposition was organized with the assistance of the director of the Baku State Circus Vagif Bagirzade, circus historian Rajab Mammadov, director of the State Archive of Film and Photo Documentation Asgar Rasulov, gymnast Tamilla Nazirova, clown Lada Sarnatskaya, animal handler Tofiq Akhundov and Rauf Rassulov, director of circus shows and concerts Vladimir Vavilov, archivist Aida Babazade and poetess Leyli Salayeva.
The exhibition will be open to the public until September 29 from 12:00 to 22:00. Admission is free.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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