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YARAT presents group exhibition METACODE

6 December 2022 17:24 (UTC+04:00)
YARAT presents group exhibition METACODE

By Laman Ismayilova

YARAT Contemporary Art Space presents a group exhibition METACODE at the Museum of Azerbaijani Painting of the XX-XXI centuries, Azernews reports.

The art project covers artworks by Azerbaijani artists of different generations including Rasim Babayev, Rashad Babayev, Huseyn Jalilov, Teymur Daimi, Irina Eldarova, Leyli Alakbarova, Anvar Asgarov, Huseyn Hagverdiyev, Orxan Huseynov, Farhad Xalilov, Zaur Gantamirov, Leyla Gabulova, Tarlan Gorchi, Sanan Gurbanov, Aida Mahmudova, Mammad Mustafayev, Altay Sadigzada, Mir Nadir Zeynalov and the creative team "043" (Movsum & Ramil).

Throughout history, visual language has been used to encode meanings and implications. People have been "verbalizing" their thinking since ancient times by creating images to convey ideas. The ability to react to hypothetical situations played an essential role in abstract thinking throughout history. As evidenced by the abstract ornaments on the oldest artifacts, abstract language was used in art as early as ancient times. According to the aesthetic concept of abstract language, creativity is a reflection of the laws of the universe hidden in the external, alluvial phenomena of nature.

As a result, the artist expresses the regularities consciously or intuitively through the ratio of abstract forms, in which the qualities of line, shape, proportion, and color convey meaning directly without the help of images. Abstract creativity comes to represent the universal nature of globalization through the art of modernism and postmodernism, working with the primary elements of visual language. In light of the fact that we are the descendants of the people who once created a visual language, it seems appropriate to recreate ancient meanings and update traditional knowledge to fit modern realities. Considering that the prefix "meta" partly overlaps in meaning with the Latin prefix "post", the conceptualization of the new aesthetic and ideological paradigm has a very special dialectical connotation.

In the history of mankind, objects and nature have been observed and described, and with the help of imagination, a completely different dimension has been created, sometimes visualizing non-material concepts like emotions, thoughts, and religious beliefs. It is through such ambiguous ideograms of primitive people that we can observe on the rocks of Gobustan and Gemigaya that we can find the basic foundation for various types of art. One of the most striking examples of the embodiment of the meta code in sculpture is the stone plastics of ancient Turks: vertical sculptures in the form of human figures, characterized by symbolism and schematics, built-in burial grounds, known by Orkhon script monuments and as Balbals in modern art criticism. As a form of communication, Carpet Art encodes reality into a system of significations. The carpet represents all of the worldviews of the people expressed in signs and as a method of visual self-expression. During the Middle Ages, miniature art served as an encrypted pictorial letter, which despite its realism is more code than illustration. Using imagery and color to convey symbolism, the miniatures depict reality in a conditional way. The idea of comprehending the world in miniature is achieved through harmony. As for the meta code, it's impossible to ignore the semantic ambiguity of Arabic and the calligraphy based on it, especially when it functions as an important part of Islamic architecture.

Through the exhibition "METACODE", twenty Azerbaijani artists from different periods share their art pieces, revealing the cultural codes of the nation. In this research project, the curatorial concept is based on the theory that the cultural code has evolved through a hidden language of symbols and lines, reflected in various artistic forms. The exposition is based on the works of artists of the "post-Perestroika" period in dialogue with artists of the new century. Although the artists experimented with generalization, geometrizing, phoneless compositions, and trying different textures during the 1980s and 90s, they were unable to find recognition for their work. The Soviet School's figurative and descriptive approach in their paintings changed to an abstract and geometrical approach. In the work of the new generation of artists, cultural codes, and some abstract subconscious messages take on an inseparable relationship with national identity, philosophy, history, and politics while being visualized in technology's language.

The exhibition curators are Farah Alakbarli, Shirin Malikova, Sabina Shikhlinskaya

The exhibit includes works from the collections of the Azerbaijani National Museum of Art and Baku MoMA (Baku Museum of Modern Art).

Parallel program on the opening day of the exhibition, December 7, 2022

20:00 – Multimedia performance by composer Gleb Andrianov with string quartet

Musicians: Alexey Miltykh (cello), Jeyla Seyidova (violin), Vakhtang Imanov (alt), Agshin Geyushov (double bass)

Performance director: Nata Andrianova

Media artists: Petr Elgisser, Alexander Slavin, Vadim Tumanov, Vladislav Kravchenko

Performer: Hasan Hagverdiyev

Characters are the center of any art form, whether it is visual or non-visual. Cinematic music is pretty much imaginative. Here, each piece can be viewed as if it were a small “movie”, and everyone has their own interpretation.

The Museum of Azerbaijani Painting of the XX-XXI Centuries is located on the territory of the National Flag Square. The museum was founded by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.

The official opening took place in June 2015 and since 2018 the museum is supervised by YARAT Contemporary Art Space.

To this date, the museum has hosted individual and group exhibitions of prominent Azerbaijani artists: Labour, Leisure, and Dreams: 1960s-1980s Through the Eyes of Azerbaijani Masters (2018), Ashraf Murad: Love and Protest (2019), Baku Speaking: 1900s-1940s (October 2019- April 2020), Make an Island for Yourself (December 2019 – October – 2021), Mir Nadir Zeynalov: A Mysterious Spirit’s Life (November 2021 – April 2022), and Ujal Hagverdiyev: Conversation in Presence (May – October 2022).

Thanks to regular meetings with local and foreign art experts, curators, and artists, visitors to the exhibition had an opportunity to learn more about the creative development of the artists and their works exhibited in the museum. Under the guidance of famous artists, master classes for children (Little YARAT) and adults (Explore Yourself) helped the participants discover their creative potential and master the basics of visual art. Moreover, the visitors enjoyed various musical pieces from classical to rock, which accompanied them within the museum halls.

The Museum collaborates closely with educational institutions and the museum's staff familiarizes pupils and students with expositions through interactive tours by teaching them to comprehend and interpret art.

YARAT is an artist-founded, non-profit art organization 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 the surrounding regions.

YARAT is an artist-founded, not-for-profit art organization 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 the 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 program. YARAT Art Centre, a 2000 m² converted Soviet-era naval building, opened in March 2015 and is the organization's main exhibition space. The exhibition program 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.

The Museum of Azerbaijani Painting of the XX-XXI Centuries presents a series of exhibitions with works from the collection of National Museums and Galleries and organizes a public and educational program of events running. The Museum collaborates closely with educational institutions 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 'growth/progress' in Azerbaijani) shows experimental practices and new work by emerging Azeri art professionals (selected through open call) and international artists from the residency program. It features multiple small-scale projects each year and hosts ARTIM Lab, a program enabling young artists to engage in workshops and daily studio practice to generate new ideas and works.

Education has been at the heart of YARAT's activities since its creation. With a dedicated public program 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 program invests proactively in building communities and nurturing a wider understanding of, and participation in, contemporary art.

Exhibition duration: December 7, 2022 – April 30, 2023

Venue: The Museum of Azerbaijani Painting of the XX-XXI centuries

Address: Baku, Bayil dist., National Flag Square

Exhibition opens: Tuesday – Sunday, 12:00 – 20:00

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