By Nigar Orujova
Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Leyla Aliyeva has attended the inauguration of the exhibition “The Union of Fire and Water” presented by YARAT Contemporary Art Center within the framework of the 56th Venice Biennale.
Getting acquainted with the exhibition, Aliyeva was informed of the exhibits being displayed here and the idea of the project.
It is the historical and cultural association of Baku and Venice from the standpoints of two artists – Almagul Menlibayeva and Rashad Alakbarov – which has formed the idea of the project: “The Union of Fire and Water.”
Works by Rashad Alakbarov and a video-installation by Almagul Menlibayeva aroused great interest among the visitors.
Aliyeva noted that Azerbaijan’s active and successful participation in the Venice Biennale was of significance.
This participation is of great importance in terms of promoting Azerbaijan’s contemporary artists throughout the world and widening relations between artists from different countries, she noted.
The project “The Union of Fire and Water” describes the relations between the cities of Baku and Venice through demonstrating a statue and installation together, with a video bringing views of the cities onto the screen.
The fact that the venue for the exhibition was chosen to be held at the Venice Palazzo Barabaro was not by chance. This historical building, which was once a private mansion, owned by Venetian trader and diplomat Iosafat Barbaro. In the 15th century, sharing his travel impressions, he wrote about Azerbaijani towns, and described the palace of Aghgoyunlu ruler Uzun Hasan.
Covering such topics as tradition, history, culture and architecture at the exhibition “The Union of Fire and Water” is inspired by the palace of patron Murtuza Mukhtarov – a grandiose architectural monument constructed in Venetian Gothic style, known as a Wedding Palace.
Murtuza Mukhtarov had built it for his beloved wife Liza Tuganova. Within the framework of the project presented by Almagul Menlibayeva and Rashad Alakbarov, wide range of topics such as unity and conflict, love and violence, dialogue and aggression are analyzed by the example of Mukhtarov’s palace.
By linking the histories of both Baku and Venice, Rashad Alakbarov presents the rising voice of the Orient.
Commissioned by YARAT non-commercial organization and organized under the curatorship of Suad Garayeva, this exposition will be open to visitors at the 56th Venice Biennale Art Exhibition from May 9 to November 22.
Founded in 2011 by Aida Mahmudova, YARAT is a non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing contemporary art in Azerbaijan and creating a platform for Azerbaijani art, both nationally and internationally.
The organization facilitates dialogue and exchange between local and international artistic networks, including foundations, galleries, and museums.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz