During the Venice Biennale, other exhibitions are running in scattered places around the city. You may know it and go there with a planned visit or just bump into by chance. Therefore, if you are in Campo Santo Stefano, that is the big square in front of Accademia Bridge, pay attention to a small palace called Palazzo Lezze. Coming from the bridge, it is at your left following the Rialto directions.
Azerbaijan has set here its suggestive exhibition, which has been called UNDER ONE SUN - The Art of Living Together. Two artists have been involved in the setting up and they are Elvin Nabizade and Hypnotica.
In the first room, immediately after the entrance, there are holograms of Azerbaijan people interviewed and their videos have been assembled all together in a technological video collage. From an objective point of view, this brings emphasis on the culture, lifestyle, traditions and history of this wonderful people.
Before continuing with the description of the exhibit, let's cover a short overview of the country. Azerbaijan, with Baku as Capital City, is a Republic of Central Asia and borders with Russia, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Iran and the Caspian Sea. The more interesting feature of it is its secularism, which makes it a remarkable blend of cultures and traditions. Even though the Muslim religion reaches 96%, Catholics, Jewish and Orthodox minorities are presents and their contribution to the national cultural heritage is clearly visible going through the interviews displayed around the building.
On the first floor, the guests will approach a huge art installation in an arch shape that symbolises the itinerary the sun accomplishes from dawn to dusk. The artefact, created by Elvin Nabizade, is composed by 44 saz, a typical instrument the Azeris played centuries ago to make people gathering together.
These kinds of musicians were identified as Asquish, that I assume they could be considered as equal as the wandering minstrels. Various tuning of the instruments complete the installation. Indeed, this art-installation-performance is so unique and fascinating that I personally wanted to stay there all day long, because it gave different outlooks from any point of view and perspective I took on.
The second installation, in the next room, is similar, but astonishing too. This time, different musical instruments were combined together in order to make a static and perfect sphere. Also a work from Nabizade, it is called Sphere as well. The purpose is to represent the different populations living in the country in peace. Hence, the solid shape provided by these instruments perfectly embodies the harmony the Azeris were spreading out within the country and, hopefully, also abroad.
I believe this kind of art and the deep meanings and messages is trying to develop, should be taken as an example for the humanity to get along better and smoothly, with no hate, like the instruments are telling us to do in this arrangement.
The third room reproduces a typical Azeri interiors house furniture. The guest could have a seat on the geometrical and striped colourful patterns distinctive of the Central Asia region. There is a screen with running interviews to Azeris who are explaining life in the mountains and in the country. Rugs are common features in the culture and wooden small rounded tables, together with relaxing lamps and cushions generate a full experience of comfort.
Speaking of a more contemporary means of art, there is a dark room next to the big installation in the hall that hosts a walking-figure projection created by the artists Hypnotica. The graphic is an outcome of several alphabets and codes, followed by a specific music and designed rhythm.