Shoja Azari at the 55th Venice Biennale

Venice, 23 May 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Leila Heller Gallery announced its upcoming exhibition of Shoja Azari titled “Love Me, Love Me Not” held from 1 June to 24 November 2013 on the occasion of the 55th Venice Biennale.

This exhibition is an unprecedented event devoted to contemporary art from Azerbaijan and around. It showcases works by 17 artists from Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey, Russia and Georgia. The event is produced and supported by YARAT, a non-profit contemporary art institution located in Baku and organised under the curatorship of Dina Nasser-Khadivi.

As the most ambitious project up-to-date, Shoja Azari will direct a commissioned movie titled The King of Black, that depicts a chapter of an epic poem dated from the 12th century, by Nizami of Ganja. In the recent years, Azari has gained renown by adapting historical and traditional works in a contemporary context. In both The Day of the Last Judgement (2009) and Untitled (2012), Azari uses Persian miniatures and paintings representing coffee shops as a background for contemporary conflict, war or political horror.

The gallery will also present works by Faig Ahmed who is using motives from Azari’s tapestries as a point of departure and reinterprets them in the context of rapid changes faced by Azerbeijan in the process of achieving Modernity.