New group exhibition opens at YARAT [PHOTO]

11 June 2021 12:33 (UTC+04:00)

By Laman Ismayilova

A new group exhibition opened at YARAT Contemporary Art Space on June 10. 

The exhibition brought together emerging artists from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Israel, and Ukraine.

Titled "Last flowers of the 20th century: Generation Y", the exhibition explores the personality of Millennials through key subjects, questions, and issues.

"Generation Y", or Millennials, are the people who were born in the 20th century but grew up in a new millennium.

They are highlighted as people different from the previous and next generations, which emphasizes the uniqueness of this generation. As the last flowers of the previous century, they built the current reality through their personal realities.

As exhibition curator Farah Alakbarli says, "Last flowers of the 20th century: Generation Y" draws attention to ways of self-identification and self-expression through different levels of social perception.

Reflecting reality with reference to Soviet past, it gives voice to the artists' youthful experience. Static or dynamic, stuck or in progress, the exhibition creates diverse images of how people make sense of their life.

Full of memory and nostalgia, selected art works also examine their social environment, which is a crucial factor in the formation of this generation. Playing with concepts of culture, subculture, and trend, the art project reveals the core rhythms of lifestyle and behavior.  

"Last Flowers of the 20th century: Generation Y" brings together video, photography and photo installation works of six emerging artists. Selected works of Alina Orlov (Israel), Giorgi Rodionov (Georgia), Zamir Suleymanov (Azerbaijan), Yarema Malashchuk and Roman Himey (Ukraine), and Sasha Kurmaz (Ukraine) showcase different realities, values, and perceptions of youth from different countries who are living in the same time frame.

Yarema Malashchuk and Roman Himey (Kyiv, Ukraine) work as visual artists, film directors and cinematographers. Both Himey and Malashchuk received their Bachelor's degrees from Institute of Screen Arts in Kyiv, graduating in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The main focus of their work is the exploration of the image of the crowd as a separate character in history and culture. They were awarded the Special Prize at PinchukArtCentre. The duo’s work was featured at "frei_raum Q21 exhibition space" Vienna, Austria (2019), and Bursa Gallery (2019, 2017), IZOLYATSIYA (2018), and PinchukArtCentre (2018), all based in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Alina Orlov (b. 1990, Moscow, Russia) is an artist based in Tel Aviv, Israel specializing in performance, video and sculpture. She graduated with honors from the BFA programme at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, Israel and also holds an MFA in Film, Video, New Media and Animation from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, USA. She has held solo shows in Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, USA (2019), and Rosenfeld Gallery (2019) and Maze 9 Gallery (2016), both in Tel Aviv, Israel. Orlov also participated in group exhibitions at SAIC Galleries, Chicago, USA (2020), Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, USA (2018), ARTIM Projects Space, Baku, Azerbaijan (2017), and Slade School of Art, London, UK (2014).

Giorgi Rodionov (b. 1990, Tbilisi, Georgia) is an artist and curator focused on social and political stories that change eras. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, graduating in Georgia; after his graduation he moved to Europe to get his MA in Contemporary Arts. Most of Giorgi’s works are based on his research that is later transformed into installation, performance, participative art, books or other different media. Being the founder of Untitled Gallery, his work has appeared across Europe and Georgia.

Sasha Kurmaz (b. 1986, Kyiv, Ukraine) is a street artist and photographer who experiments with different media. He graduated from Kiev Electromechanical College and National Academy of Culture and Arts Management in 2005 and 2008 respectively. His main artistic focus is researching the relationship between the individual, society and the state. His solo shows have been exhibited at Edmund Felson Gallery Berlin, Germany (2021, 2017), Chech Gallery (2018) and PinchukArtCentre (2016), both located in Kyiv, Ukraine, and UV21 Gallery, Warsaw, Poland (2015).

Zamir Suleymanov (b.1987, Baku, Azerbaijan) graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Azerbaijan State Economic University, and completed a postgraduate residency programme at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2018-2020). He began his creative work with classical photography and then switched to contemporary photo and video. Zamir’s creative experience is connected to his observation of features and paradoxes which are deemed to be an integral part of the socio-cultural realities of Azerbaijan. His work has appeared at Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, USA (2020), YARAT Contemporary Art Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan (2020), Rijksakademie Open Studios, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2019), PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, Ukraine (2019), and MoMA,Tbilisi, Georgia (2019).

The exhibition is curated by Farah Alakbarli. Exhibition opens: Tuesday through Sunday, from 12 am – 20 pm. Admission is free. The  exhibition will last until December 30. 

Address: YARAT Contemporary Art Centre (National Flag Square).

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 surrounding region.

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 surrounding region. 

YARAT comprises YARAT Contemporary Art Centre, Museum of the 20th-21st Century Azerbaijani Painting , ARTIM Project Space, ARTIM Lab Studio 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 organization'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 the 20th-21st Century Azerbaijani Painting 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 and the museum's staff familiarizes 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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