Venice: Biennale – Around Town – Palazzo Barbaro – The Union of Fire and Water exhibition. The Union of Fire and Water presents a historical and cultural superimposition of Baku and Venice as seen through the eyes of two artists, Almagul Menlibayeva and Rashad Alakbarov. The exhibition brings together site-specific video work, sculpture and installation to explore the interrelation between Venice and Baku. The Union of Fire and Water is based in the previously private Palazzo Barbaro, the former residence of Giosafat Barbaro, a Venetian ambassador who traveled to and wrote extensively on Azerbaijani cities and the court of Shah Uzun Hassan in the late 1400s. Commissioned by YARAT, a not-for-profit contemporary art organization based in Baku, the exhibition is curated by Suad Garayeva,
Above. Rashad Alakbarov – Lion of Fuzuli – 2015 – found bricks, stone, lazer-cut metal.
Palazzo Barbaro – The Union of Fire and Water. The internationally renowned Kazakhstani-born contemporary artist Almagul Menlibayeva works with a range of media including painting, graphics, performance, installation, video and fine art in order to expose shared cultural experiences across time and place. Menlibayeva’s acclaimed practice references non-verbal dialogues across worlds, cultures and eras, with particular attention given to the role of women in pre-Soviet, pre-Islamic and Shamanistic and dervish cultures. Rashad Alakbarov is one of the key Azerbaijani artists to come to international attention in recent years. His installation-based works explore the distortion of sensory perception; using various media, Alakbarov arranges objects and fragments before a light-source to cast shadows. The duality between installation and creation, light and shadow, reality and perception is central to his art.
Above. Almagul Menlibayeva – Fire Talks to Me – 2015 – transition – 6 mins. – 1 screen.
Video artist Almagul Menlibayeva and artist Rashad Alakbarov
Palazzo Barbaro – The Union of Fire and Water – Rashad Alakbarov – Do Not Fear – 2015 – daggers, swords, plexiglas, metal, light source
Palazzo Barbaro – The Union of Fire and Water – Almagul Menlibayeva – Fire Talks to Me – 2015 – Main, continued – 2 Screens
Palazzo Barbaro – The Union of Fire and Water – Rashad Alakbarov – Untitled (Omnes Viae Ducunt Venetias) – 2015 – wood, metal base