This year brings an even more ambitious programme of events, both at home and further afield. YARAT take part in Marker, Art Dubai’s curated gallery programme, in early 2014. Curated this year by the artists Slavs and Tatars, Marker takes Central Asia and the Caucasus as its focus and includes five non-profits and institutions from across the region. YARAT are showing work from three generations of Azerbaijani artists, with video, painting and sculpture included.
In April, YARAT open their exhibition Love Me, Love Me Not, which debuted at the Venice Biennale in 2013, at the Zaha Hadid-designed Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku. This exhibition celebrates artists from across the region, with work by leading artists from Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia and Georgia.
Over 2014 YARAT is expanding its education program to include a Summer School, a conference, international artists’ residencies and further workshops by international tutors. Following the success of last year’s tutors, including the Head of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art and the Dean of Art and Central Saint Martins, YARAT welcomes 4 tutors to lead month-long courses in Baku.
For 2015 YARAT will open a new dedicated arts centre, with exhibition galleries, education rooms, artists’ studios and a library. They are also planning to launch a book on the history of art in the Caucasus region and host an international conference that draws together experts from across the art world, over several days in Baku.
With its diverse events, produced for numerous audiences, with artists who are both established and emerging, YARAT continues to foster a dynamic community for contemporary art in Azerbaijan and bring Azerbaijani artists to the world stage.
To date, YARAT have produced over 40 events. In 2013 they produced the landmark exhibition Love Me, Love Me Not, for the 55th Venice Biennale. Curated by Dina Nasser-Khadivi, the exhibition brought together respected artists from Azerbaijan with those from Iran, Russia and Turkey, including Faig Ahmed, Shoja Azari, Afruz Amighi, Kutlug Ataman, Ali Banisadr and Slavs and Tatars.
Tripling their education initiatives in 2013, YARAT hosted large young artist education events and begin bi-weekly iNDI Art Nights in Baku, with art, music and performances happening throughout the city. Following on from the success of the inaugural year, the Baku Public Arts Festival for 2013 (which ran from March to September) featured five international and five local artists’ projects, all of which had audience participation and interaction as a defining characteristic.
2012 saw over 20 events organised by YARAT. The inaugural Baku Public Arts Festival transformed the capital city, with new public artworks unveiled each week and performances and talks taking place throughout the six month-long festival. The collaborative exhibition Merging Bridges brought together international and Azerbaijani artists in an unprecedented exhibition which featured works by Sarah Lucas, Keith Coventry, James Turrell, Idris Khan and Azerbaijani artists Rashad Alakbarov and Farid Rasulov. Christie’s brought their first exhibition to Azerbaijan in 2012 with the support of YARAT and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, showing important works by Picasso, Lempicka, Hirst and Warhol to the public. YARAT also took a number of projects abroad enabling Azeri artist Ilkin Huseynov to exhibit at the Netherlands’ Photography Biennale and Faig Ahmed to show at the Sharjah Festival of Islamic Art.