Azerbaijan’s participation in the 56th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia 2015 is commissioned by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. For Biennale Arte 2015, Azerbaijan presents two exhibitions for international audiences that celebrate the voices of artists addressing complex and pressing questions that affect us globally. While Beyond the Line reconsiders the country’s past, Vita Vitale looks to Azerbaijan’s future, and beyond its geographic borders, to spotlight the artists and scientists confronting the ecological challenges we face globally.
The naturalist Sir David Attenborough once declared that humans were a plague on the Earth, depleting their own resources and those of other species, thereby threatening their own existence. Vita Vitale unites an international group of contemporary artists galvanised by this threat. From the grandly-proportioned rooms of a 13th-century palazzo overlooking Venice’s Grand Canal — itself the bearer of the human footprint’s heavy weight — their multimedia works and installations explore the consequences of plastic pollutants, consumerism, climate change, dwindling resources, deteriorating land and seascapes, rising sea levels, and endangered species. From aerial shots of the increasingly arid Texas Panhandle to a futuristic wasteland built upon the excesses of the financial market; from photographs of flip-flops washed up on the beaches of Wales to sculptures of barnacle-encrusted reefs inspired by the urbanisation of the Galapagos Islands, Vita Vitale navigates the delicate balance between our planet’s ecosystem and our impact on the natural world. At the same time, works such as a gilded swarm of bees, an idyllic animation of an apple tree, and sculptures of olive trees celebrate our interdependency on the Earth and its species.
The exhibition’s Laboratory, hosted by IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Action), further reinforces our connection to our environment, especially Vita Vitale’s own immediate environment. Located only a few steps from the Grand Canal, and drawing inspiration from Venice’s ecological concerns, the IDEA Laboratory convenes scientists, artists, and designers to spark dialogue about synthesising our technological capabilities and our living realm.
At a time when the human race increasingly consumes and jettisons natural resources and manmade products, the collective voices of Vita Vitale’s artists and scientists resonate throughout Ca’Garzoni.They challenge us to confront the potential dangers of ignoring the messages that Vita Vitale conveys, while simultaneously suggesting creative tools and ideas for securing ‘all the world’s futures.'
Exhibiting Artists: Edward Burtynsky, Mircea Cantor, Loris Cecchini, Gordon Cheung, Khalil Chishtee, Tony Cragg, Laura Ford, Noémie Goudal, Siobhán Hapaska, Paul Huxley, IDEA Laboratory and Leyla Aliyeva, Chris Jordan with Rebecca Clark and Helena S.Eitel, Tania Kovats, Aida Mahmudova, Sayyora Muin, Jacco Olivier, Julian Opie, Julian Perry, Mike Perry, Bas Princen, Stephanie Quayle, Ugo Rondinone, Graham Stevens, Diana Thater, Andy Warhol, Bill Woodrow, Erwin Wurm, Rose Wylie.
Scientific Curator for the IDEA Laboratory: Rachel Armstrong, Professor of Experimental Architecture, Newcastle University and 2010 Senior TED Fellow; featuring ecoLogic Studio, Julian Melchiorri, Mike Perry, and Studio Swine.