Azerbaijan in Venice

Mike Boyle
Jun 15, 2013 11:00AM

I wish more people were talking about the Azerbaijan pavilion at the Venice Biennale. It was one of my favorite ones. It's one of the off site pavilions but it's easy to get to and (unlike Azerbaijan itself) easy to find on a map, just off the foot of the Accademia bridge.

When you visit the pavilion you walk directly into an astonishingly overcarpeted interior by Farid Rasulov. People have heaped praise on the carpeting in the Rudolf Stingel show at the nearby Palazzo Grassi, which is also great, but the carpeting here is even more thorough. Even the books and the TV are carpeted. I'd like to see someone try to watch a program on that screen! (You can see more of Rasulov's work here or on his own site.)

I also enjoyed the shadow art of Rashad Alakbarov on the upper floor. The second piece looks like a hunk of random, twisted metal to the naked eye, and the message ("it is not chaos") is only revealed when you view the work through your digital camera. I don't know how or why that is, but it's pretty cool. (You can see more of his work here.)

Mike Boyle