YARAT Contemporary Art Space has presented a group exhibition by local artists and photographers entitled Fogs 'Fogs Turned Into Epic Story in My Head' . During the Second Karabakh War, the city of Ganja was one of the epicenters of war crimes against civilians. The exhibition, which is dedicated to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the events of recent victory, travels to Ganja for the first time.
Having long been regarded as a frozen conflict in the South Caucasus region, the Karabakh conflict has already gone down in history as one of the most tragic ones. The recent months' events have shifted to a more active phase of the conflict and changed the geopolitical map of the whole region, attaining positive results. With the thawing of the frozen conflict status resulting in the complete victory of Azerbaijan in both military and political aspects, the 44-day war has become one of the first pages written in our contemporary history with golden letters...
YARAT's group exhibition titled 'Fogs Turned Into Epic Story in My Head' explains the decades-long Karabakh conflict in terms of its impact and consequences. The exhibition brings up the traumatic memories of war and political conflicts. The show addresses the pre-war "Neither Peace nor War" years, rooted in the most sensitive problem of the region and reflects the course of this complex journey. At the same time, it is based on historical analysis, evaluation of its biased periods and episodes, documentation of the deformation and damage suffered by society and culture, while acting as an observer of these difficult periods. The collected works represent witnesses of the consequences of military conflicts and political crises, exploring the national context and raising questions of universal and national importance.
'Fogs Turned Into Epic Story in My Head' speaks of the beginning of a new stage in the Karabakh conflict, which is expressed through both personal and collective prisms. This 27-year period, which is too short for universal history but a long period of occupation in the local context, is depicted in the different political situation and social realities faced by different generations. The exhibited artworks speak of the thorny path to victory, while highlighting that there are no intersecting parallels between those realities.
The exhibition takes its title from the famous song Motherland is Better (in Azerbaijani: Vətən yaxşıdır), based on lyrics written by Aliagha Vahid and performed by Warrant Officer Khudayar Yusifzade, who was martyred during the war. The song is included as a part of the installation by Rashad Alakbarov.
As a result, the exhibition creates interactions among the artworks such as installation, photography, and digital works created by artists and photographers Aghababa Bagirov, Elnur Babayev, Ilgar Jafarov, Shahvalad Eyvazov, Erkin Alakbarli, Rashad Alakbarov, Khalid Askerov, Mirnaib Hasanoglu, Ali Gafarov, Javid Gurbanov, Oleg Litvin, Ali Rza, and Nurahmed Veliyev, solving and completing the complicated puzzle of the resolved Karabakh conflict. The exhibition includes artworks and photographic materials stored in collections of YARAT Contemporary Art Space and Azerbaijan Photographers Union.
Traditionally, based on 'Fogs Turned Into Epic Story in My Head' exhibition, education workshops are planned to be conducted by local specialists. In the frame of the program, the participants will be able to attend lectures on the topic of different communication networks in the art sphere and become aware of the digital world and virtual reality concepts in the sphere of contemporary art.
The organizational support by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Mahsati Ganjavi center.
Exhibition: Fogs Turned Into Epic Story in My Head, group exhibition
Location: Ganja, Mahsati Ganjavi Center
Exhibition opening date: July 8,15:00 (GMT+4)
Dates: July 8-25 September, 2021
Working hours: Monday - Friday, 10:00 -18:00
Admission is free
YARAT is an artist-founded, not-for-profit art organisation based in Baku, Azerbaijan, established by Aida Mahmudova in 2011. YARAT (which means create in Azerbaijani) is dedicated to contemporary art with a long-term commitment to creating a hub for artistic practice, research, thinking and education in the Caucasus, Central Asia and surrounding region.
YARAT comprises YARAT Contemporary Art Centre, Museum of Azerbaijani Painting of the XX-XXI Centuries, ARTIM Project Space and an extended educational and public programme. YARAT Art Centre, a 2000 m2 converted Soviet-era naval building, opened in March 2015 and is the organisation's main exhibition space. The exhibition programme features new commissions by artists responding to the region. It supports and provides access to artists from the region, while engaging and introducing established, international artists.
Museum of Azerbaijani Painting of the XX-XXI Centuries presents a series of exhibitions with the works from the collection of National Museums and Galleries and organize a public and education programme of events running. The Museum collaborates closely with educational institutions YARAT and the museum's staff familiarises pupils and students with expositions through interactive tours by teaching them to comprehend and interpret art.
In October 2015, YARAT opened ARTIM, a central, accessible and dynamic space in Baku's Old City. ARTIM (meaning progress in Azerbaijani) shows experimental practices and new work by emerging Azeri art professionals (selected through open call) and the international artists from the residency programme. It features multiple small-scale projects each year and hosts ARTIM Lab, a programme enabling young artists to engage in workshops and daily studio practice to generate new ideas and works. In 2016 YARAT launched a renewed residency programme. Aimed at developing young Azerbaijani voices and emerging international artists, the focus is on new, innovative practices and artists with an interest in the region. The residency programme hosts 6 international and 4 local artists a year at YARAT Studios' spaces.
Education has been at the heart of YARAT's activities since its creation. With a dedicated public programme that includes courses, workshops, lectures, screenings, festivals, literature and theatre clubs and family weekends, YARAT aims to give access to broad audiences of all ages. The public programme invests proactively in building communities and nurturing a wider understanding of, and participation in, contemporary art.
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