Leyla Aliyeva attends the exhibition of YARAT Contemporary Art Centre in Venice

Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva attended the inauguration of the exhibition “The Union of Fire and Water” presented by YARAT Contemporary Art Centre within the framework of the 56th Venice Biennale.

Getting acquainted with the exhibition, Leyla Aliyeva was informed of the exhibits being displayed here, and the idea of the project. 

Historical and cultural association of Baku and Venice in the standpoints of two artists – Almagul Menlibayeva and Rashad Alakbarov – forms the idea of the project “The Union of Fire and Water”. 

Works by Rashad Alakbarov and video-installation by Almagul Menlibayeva aroused great interest in visitors.

Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva noted that Azerbaijan’s active and successful participation in the Venice Biennale was of significance. According to her, this participation is of importance in terms of promoting Azerbaijan’s contemporary artists throughout the world and widening relations between artists from different countries.  

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 as a venue for the exhibition was chosen Venice Palazzo Barabaro was not by chance. This historical building had once been a private mansion. Owner of the building was Venetian trader and diplomat Iosafat Barbaro.  In the 15th century, sharing his travel impressions, he wrote about Azerbaijani towns, and describes the palace of Aghgoyunlu ruler Uzun Hasan.

Covering such topics as tradition, history, culture and architecture, 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 this building 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 analysed by the example of Mukhtarov’s palace.

By linking histories of Baku and Venice, Rashad Alakbarov presents rising voice of the Orient. Video installation of Almagul Menlibayeva is demonstrated from a number of channels in consistently located rooms. Presenting the story of Mukhtarov and his wife Liza, the film talks about the story of Baku and analyses such notions as intercourse, contemporariness, conflict and proximity in a wide sense.

Made by order of YARAT non-commercial organization and organized under the curatorship of Suad Garayev, this exposition will be open to visitors at the 56th Venice Biennale Art Exhibition from May 9 to November 22.