Rashad Alakbarov at the Azerbaijan Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennale.

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Rashad Alakbarov, ‘Miniature’, 2013, iron, projector, dimensions variable.

Rashad Alakbarov was born in 1979 in Baku and now lives and works there. He graduated from the Faculty of Decorative Arts at Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Art in Baku in 2001. He works with different media, including painting, sculpture, theatre decoration, video art and architec­tural design. The use of shadows in his installations has become the main characteristic of his conceptual work. The first public showing of this type of work was at the “Wings of Time” exhibition in Baku in 2000. Alakbarov’s work is held in private collections in Azerbaijan, Italy, Turkey and Russia.

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Rashad Alakbarov, ‘Intersection’, 2013, iron, projector, dim. variable.

For “Ornamentation”, Alakbarov has presented three installations that use the play of light and shadow to reveal images.

The curator of the pavilion claims that the works Miniature and Intersection refer to Shebeke – stained-glass windows made by old national Azerbaijani masters without even using glue or nails. They were in wide use in 18th and 19th century Azerbaijani architecture. In Miniature, there is also a clear inspiration from traditional Azerbaijani miniature art.

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Rashad Alakbarov, ‘Miniature’, 2013, iron, projector, dimensions variable.

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Rashad Alakbarov, ‘Intersection’, 2013, iron, projector, dim. variable.

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Rashad Alakbarov, ‘It is Not Chaos’, 2013, iron, projector, dim. variable.

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Rashad Alakbarov, ‘It is Not Chaos’, 2013, iron, projector, dim. variable.

It is Not Chaos is a work with a more contemporary conceptual feel, the words carrying a greater significance in today’s chaotic, globalised world.

Alakbarov’s light and shadow installations have proved very popular. “Fly to Baku”, an exhibition of Azerbaijani art at Phillips (formerly Phillips de Pury & Company) included some of his pieces created with found and random objects, arranged in order to reveal paintings and shadow images on the walls. Indeed he is a visionary who is able to go beyond appearances and create beauty from what seems almost insignificant and banal.

Click here to read more on Ornamentation. The Azerbaijan Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale.

All Photographs: Rashad Alakbarov, works for “Ornamentation”, Azerbaijan Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, 2013. Photos: C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia.

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