“The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” at Yarat Contemporary Art Centre

From 25 September 2015 to 9 January 2016, the Yarat Contemporary Art Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan, is to host an exhibition entitled “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter”. It focuses on the use of avatars on the Internet and their meaning. The exhibition’s aim is to explore the status of these images and concepts of property and identity. It involves understanding the application of avatars and knowing which status to give them. The works by Pierre Huyghe represent avatars as empty characters while the most recent artworks dedicated to avatars refuse to see them as an empty shell: avatars would rather reveal the various tendencies that exist within a society. The creations by Camille Henrot are inspired by singer Nicki Minaj and explore the importance of colonisation as well as the racial stereotypes of the current digital culture. Suad Garayeva, the curator of the exhibition, explains this choice by stating: “At Yarat Contemporary Art Centre we are committed to showing important and cutting edge contemporary art. ‘The Heart is a lonely hunter’ explores a particular strand of art in the post-digital realm, and introduces these rapidly evolving artistic practices to our audiences.”   The title of the exhibition is taken from a novel by Carson McCullers dating from 1940. In his book, the author tells a story about seven characters who don’t correspond to their environment neither physically nor socially. They thus experience solitude and...

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Bjorn Geldhof to head Yarat Contemporary Art Space

Bjorn Geldhof has been named the head of the Yarat Contemporary Art Space, located in Baku, Azerbaijan. He will direct the institution, while continuing his function as artistic director at the Pinchuk Art Centre of Kiev, in Ukraine until the end of the year 2015. The Yarat Contemporary Art Space opened its permanent location in March 2015, in an old building dating from the Soviet era. Until 1 October 2015, its inaugural exhibition “Making Histories” will be presented to the public. The functioning of the Yarat Contemporary Art Space is that of a non-profit organisation: its budget is issued by donations from private investors and companies as well as revenues earned by the yay gallery, situated in Baku. The Yarat Contemporary Art Space was created by the Yarat association, founded in 2011 by Aida Mahmudova, an artist originating from Azerbaijan. An exhibition organised by Yarat is available until 22 November 2015 at Palais Barbaro, in the setting of the Venice Biennale. The exhibition is titled “The Union of Fire and Water” and notably presents the works of Almagul Menlibayeva and Rashad Alakbarov. Bjorn Geldhof was the commissioner of the Ukranian pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The exhibition which he organised presents various emerging artists. The name of the project is...

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A Drop of Sky: YARAT Public Art Festival, Baku

From 13 June until 5 October 2015, A Drop of Sky, commissioned by YARAT Contemporary Arts Space, is to take place, marking the third Public Art Festival in Baku, Azerbaijan. Curated by Sara Raza, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator for the Middle East and North Africa and YARAT Head of Education, the festival investigates how contemporary artists and audiences perceive the rapidly developing natural, scientific, and technological changes currently occurring in Baku and beyond. Taking inspiration from the poetry and thinking of Russian Futurist Velimir Khlebnikov, the festival explores ideas pertaining to poetry, philosophy, astronomy, logic, and illogic. During the fair, artworks will be displayed at various locations throughout the city as well as through a web-based technological component that explores the virtual public art platform. The festival will be accompanied by an education programme including a film club, artist talks, and “AA Baku school”, a two-week-long workshop in collaboration with Architecture Association in London, led by architects and AA tutors Omid Kamvari and Kasper Ax. Participating artists include Wafaa Bilal, Ergin Çavuşoğlu, Farhad Farzaliyev, and Nazrin...

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Contemporary art near the Caspian Sea

Baku, 27 June 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). PARTICIPATE Baku Public Art Festival 2013, a contemporary art fair that takes place in Azerbaijan, opened its doors on 12 March and will run until 12 September. Now in its second edition, the fair, which takes place in Baku, features ten commissioned works by Azerbaijani and international artists, and aims to question preconceptions about the role and relevance of public art in cities. The event also hopes to more broadly promote the work of Azerbaijani artists. Participating local artists include Afet Baghirova and Chingiz Babayev, who are joined by Russian artist Naila Allakhverdiyeva and Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, who exemplify the fair’s international outlook. The fair is organised by Yarat, a non-profit organisation that seeks to support and promote contemporary art in...

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Death of Togrul Narimanbekov

Bakou, 13 June 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). Azerbaijanese contemporary artist Togrul Narimanbekov passed away on 8 June 2013 aged 83. His death was reported by Azertag press agency. Togrul Narimanbekov studied at the Azerbaijan School of Art, and at the Academy of Fine Arts. He was the winner of the USSR State Prize in 1980, and was named the Azerbaijani People’s Artist in 1967. Following this, he moved to Paris, where he became a French citizen. In August 2010, he received the Azerbaijani Order of Honour. The contemporary painter described his work as a combination of abstraction and...

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