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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Frieze Week Lowdown: London Shows to See Ocula Report Frieze Week Lowdown: London Shows to See 20 Sep 2019 : Tessa Moldan for Ocula

London's galleries and museums are gearing up for a lively October, with Frieze London and Frieze Masters running between 3 and 6 October 2019 at Regent's Park, along with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, taking place across the same dates at Somerset House; and the tenth anniversary of the Sunday Art Fair, showcasing new and emerging artists...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Baku

Azerbaijan

Current Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Stanley Casselman, Labyrinths of Light at Gazelli Art House, Baku
19 May–2 November 2019 Stanley Casselman Labyrinths of Light Gazelli Art House, Baku

Galleries In Baku

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Ocula Magazine

Suad Garayeva Ocula Conversation Suad Garayeva Curatorial Director, YARAT Contemporary Art Centre

Suad Garayeva is Curatorial Director of YARAT Contemporary Art Centre, overseeing YARAT’s permanent collection and temporary exhibition programme. Previously she worked as a curator and a specialist in Contemporary Art from Russia and the CIS at Sotheby's, London, curating the pioneering At the Crossroads exhibitions, which introduced...

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FLIES BITE, IT’S GOING TO RAIN: VAJIKO CHACHKHIANI Related Press FLIES BITE, IT’S GOING TO RAIN: VAJIKO CHACHKHIANI Art Asia Pacific : 11 July 2019

Vajiko Chachkhiani is preoccupied with memory, the possibilities of reconciling past and present, and probing time as a cyclical loop. For his presentation at the 57th Venice Biennale's Georgia Pavilion, for example, he installed a wooden house, transplanted from the Georgian countryside, with an irrigation system fixed to the roof, creating the...

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Review: Aida Mahmudova's 'Passing By...' at Leila Heller Related Press Review: Aida Mahmudova's 'Passing By...' at Leila Heller ArtAsiaPacific : 23 June 2015

Painting one’s homeland, especially one like Azerbaijan, tucked away between the Caspian Sea and the Lesser Caucasus mountain range, can be tricky. Recreating the charm of the unfamiliar, and the lure of exoticism, often places undue expectations on artists. But Aida Mahmudova’s deeply emotive landscape paintings in “Passing...

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Contemporary Art in Baku Related Press Contemporary Art in Baku Art Radar : 13 June 2015

As the capital of Azerbaijan and the largest city in the Caucasus, Baku has much to offer due to its unusual mixture of cultures and traditions. Baku welcomes the 1st European Games on 12 June 2015 and its streets are simultaneously being transformed by the 3rd Public Art Festival organised by YARAT Contemporary Art Space. Art Radar looks into this...

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About Baku

The Azerbaijani capital of Baku is home to a flourishing, culturally diverse art scene. With a rich and at times tumultuous history, the city at the heart of the former Soviet state is home to expanding historical and contemporary collections of Eastern and Western art in new institutions including the Baku Museum of Modern Art and the Heydar Aliyev Center, as well as smaller commercial galleries and non-profit institutions such as the YARAT Contemporary Art Space.

On the western shores of the Caspian Sea, Baku possesses a unique cultural flavour drawn from a historical mosaic of distinct cultures, from the Islamic Shirvan Era (12th–14th centuries) to the Soviet Union (1920–1992). Revealing the city's evolutions, the architecture ranges from the 12th-century walls surrounding the Icheri Sheher (Inner City)—a UNESCO World Heritage site—to uniform Soviet-era buildings and the rapidly growing modern skyline of impressive contemporary skyscrapers, including the three iconic Flame Towers. Showcasing the richness of influences on the city's art and culture is the extensive historical fine art and applied art collection of the Azerbaijan National Art Museum. Similarly, the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum lays out past regional cultural traditions while revealing, through the inclusion of contemporary works, the ongoing diversity that fuels the city's art production.

Coming out of the collapse of Soviet rule uncertain of the future, and subsequently becoming financially prosperous, Baku has become a place to view art treasures as well as a unique range of local, regional, and international contemporary artists. Established in 2009, the Baku Museum of Modern Art boasts an extensive collection of Western modernists including Picasso, Chagall, and Dali, alongside the avantgarde of Azerbaijan. Refurbished cultural institutions like The Museum Centre and Art Gallery and new spaces such as the Zaha Hadid-designed Heydar Aliyev Center play host to exhibitions of contemporary artists from Azerbaijan, neighbouring regions, and across the globe.

Smaller independent galleries like Gazelli Art House and Q Gallery, and not-for-profits such as YARAT Contemporary Art Space further attract international artists while promoting artists from Azerbaijan and the Caucasus on the international art scene. Established in 2011, the non-profit YARAT (translated as 'create') has been particularly active, organizing exhibitions, education events, and festivals, and providing artist residencies. In addition to its own exhibition space in a converted naval industrial warehouse, YARAT runs the YAY Gallery, ARTIM (meaning 'progress'), and, since 2012, the Baku Public Art Festival, which brings the work of Azerbaijani artists to the city streets.

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