Art Gallery and Assembly Hall
Opening Ceremony: 12 December
Organizer: Department of fine arts of Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan
The 4th International Biennale of Modern Art – “Aluminium” was held in Baku from 11 to 12 December 2009, organised by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Union of Artists of Azerbaijan. The sponsors of the Biennale were Azerbaijan Airlines, Azerbaijan Electroniks, the Institute of the Open Society of Azerbaijan, the embassies of the USA, France, Switzerland and India and a number of other foundations and organisations.
The partners of the Biennale were: the Centre of Modern Art of Azerbaijan, The Shirvanshah Palace Museum Complex, the Shuvalan Shopping Centre, The Natavan Building, the Museum Centre Art Gallery, the Absheron Gallery, Qiz Qalasi Gallery, the ‘Yaradan’ Gallery, the ‘Kichik Gala’ Art Gallery, the ‘Baki’ Gallery and the Vajiha Samedova Gallery of the Artists’ Union.
This is an event of international significance, which is held every two years, with the aim of acquainting viewers with new trends in art. The exhibition organised this year introduced artists from more than 20 countries: the USA, Russia, the Netherlands, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Norway, Great Britain, France, India, Italy, Turkey, Finland, Georgia, Lithuania, Switzerland and others. Also participating in the Biennale were 50 well-known art workers, critics and curators.
The director of the Biennale was Honoured Art Worker of Azerbaijan, Leyla Akhundzade. The curator was Candidate of Art Studies Dilara Vahabobva.
The concept for the project stated that in ancient times, through different civilisations, certain select people possessed secret knowledge. This knowledge had to be handed down to future generations. Priests, astrologers and clairvoyants encoded this vitally important knowledge, necessary for humanity, in ancient inscriptions, so that it could be used down the centuries. We live in an era of great change. Time by time, the secrets of the past are revealed. Scientists, writers, astrologers, philosophers and geophysicists, versed in different sources, raise various arguments and tune our brains to the year 1012. What does this mean? The beginning of the end? The beginning of a new era? Apocalypse or general harmony? Today, it seems that technical progress knows no limits; new technology surprises even the most experienced specialists. Yes, our world is changing fundamentally, and we, what kind of people are we of the third millennium? Are we essentially becoming sentimental and obedient robots? Are we emotionless zombies, living to the algorithms of others? Or perhaps we are still live creatures, able not only to kill, but also to love, not only taking life, but also giving life, not only destroying, but also creating. The exhibitions opened in Baku were directed towards bringing this concept to reality.On 11 December, in the Shirvanshah palace in Icheri Sheher, the ceremonial opening of the “Aluminium” Biennale was held; exhibitions also opened in the ‘Yaradan’, ‘Arts Group’ and ‘Yeni’ galleries. On 12 December, in the Museum Centre Art Gallery, an exhibition was opened in which 8 artists from different countries participated: Jacques Crenn ‘Angels and Demons’, a photosession by Vibha Galhotra, Soodi Sharili, Kote Jincharadze, Gahsa Madanova (a photosession through binoculars), Ibrahim Guraishi (installation, video performance), Kristina Koskentola (oil sand of Absheron installation) and Farhad Farzaliyev (‘Bought Death’ installation).
On 13 December, a presentation was held in Baku zoo. Subsequent events took place in the Centre of Modern Art, the Academy of Arts, the Absheron Gallery and in the Vajiha Samedova exhibition salon. During this series of events, a conference was organised in the Museum Centre Assembly Hall, “The Practice of Art Today”. Accompanying this was a presentation of the book, “Out of Frames”.