[spectre] Fwd: Fwd: Removal of Works from Azerbaijan Pavilion in 54th Venice Biennale

Franck Ancel ancelfranck at gmail.com
Wed Jun 8 11:23:54 CEST 2011

It is time to forget the physical pavilion and real economy but not 
Fukushima: DesertoRosso coming soon for Art Basel and simultaneously at 
the Venice Biennale.

More info next week there http://www.twitter.com/franckancel

Le 08/06/11 11:18, Francis Hunger a écrit :
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: *beral madra* <madraberal at gmail.com <mailto:madraberal at gmail.com>>
> Date: 2011/6/8
> please distribute
> I was invited by the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan to be the 
> advisory curator of the exhibition of Azerbaijan Pavilion in 54th 
> Venice Biennale. From September 2010 on I have worked with Mr. Chingiz 
> Farzaliev, who acted as commissar and local curator. All the works of 
> these artists have been evaluated in meetings in Baku and Venice. 
> Aidan Salakhova has presented her sculptures in every detail which 
> have been produced in Carrara and these works together with the works 
> of the artist have been published in the catalogue and announced in 
> the website from April 2011 on.
> 31st of May, when I came to the pavilion I was informed thatMinistry 
> of Culture has found Salakhova’s two sculptures which were installed 
> in the entrance of the Palazzo controversial to the prestige of the 
> country.
> Aidan Salakhova and me, we felt very concerned and responsible of the 
> image of the exhibition and respecting the position of the other 
> artists we tried to be positive and find a solution. As it could not 
> be removed during the opening days, the sculptures were covered with 
> textile. Until 5th of June, every daywe have discussed with the 
> authorities and responsible people of the pavilion and explained that:
> -Removing the sculpture will mean “censorship” and it will do more 
> harm to the image of the country than the sculpture itself; it would 
> be much effective, if the officials would place a label next to the 
> sculpture and declare that the authorities are not acknowledging and 
> approving the form, message or concept of this sculpture, that it is 
> the interpretation of the artist.
> -The concept of the sculptures has been misinterpreted and misjudged 
> by the authorities or by their advisers; all symbols, signs, objects 
> Salakhova is using have a historical and traditional knowledge and 
> anchorage.
> -The meaning and message of this work is extensively explained in my 
> catalogue text and is eventually the artist’s interpretation of “being 
> woman under the religious dictums”; here the religion is not only 
> related to Islam but also to Orthodoxy and other religions, which 
> before Islam introduced the veil;
> -The selection of artists and the works have been made by me and by 
> Mr. Farzaliev with utmost responsibility and prudence; during this 
> process there was not one negative hint that came on Salakhova’s work.
> -The Venice Biennale is a platform for extreme artistic freedom, for 
> sensitive topics, for limitless criticism; therefore all countries 
> must consider and accept this context before participating.
> However, we were not able to convince and stop the removal of these 
> sculptures.
> In my 25 years of curating profession, I have never experienced this 
> kind of conflict. However, lately I am observing - probably most of my 
> colleagues also do - the growing intrusion of the political and 
> official power on contemporary art production and on the artists and 
> curators in many countries, including the developed democracies. 
> Contemporary art production and its theoretical and critical context 
> is being employed and exploited by the official power as well as by 
> the private sector as a tool for high prestige and glory; but at the 
> same time its content and concepts are not tolerated and acknowledged.
> We in the production sector of contemporary art are witnessing and 
> enduring this use/abuse process. We release protests and supports for 
> the victims of these attitudes. Journalists investigate and write 
> about it. However, at the end the damage is done and the artist or the 
> curator suffers.
> In the case of Azerbaijan Pavilion, I think from now on this is the 
> problem of the artists and curators living and working in Azerbaijan. 
> I have done my best, to bring the Azerbaijan contemporary art 
> production into the agenda of international contemporary art; however 
> I must acknowledge that I was naive and I failed. The artists, art 
> critics and curators in Azerbaijan should act and liberate art making, 
> art production and creative criticism and take their long deserved 
> position in the international art.
> On the other side, this is also becoming a general problem in the art 
> world and I think the artists and curators should have an 
> international legal protection against these conflicts.
> Beral Madra
> Tuesday, 07 June 2011
> -- 
> beral madra
> curator, art critic
> BM Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul
> www.bmsuma07.blogspot.com <http://www.bmsuma07.blogspot.com/>
> www.pluversum.blogspot.com <http://www.pluversum.blogspot.com/>
> www.supremepolicy.blogspot.com <http://www.supremepolicy.blogspot.com/>
> 0090 212 2311023 <tel:212%202311023>
> bmadra at tnn.net <mailto:bmadra at tnn.net>
> btmadra at dsl.ttmail.com <mailto:btmadra at dsl.ttmail.com>
> skype:madseher
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