Baku’s absurdly rich cultural history (and relatively welcoming and well-monied upper classes) have made the city an attractive target for the more imperialistic international art institutions. While none of these projects have materialized so far, on February 24, the nonprofit YARAT! Contemporary Art Space will test the waters with the ambitious “012 Baku Public Art Festival.”
According to a statement sent out yesterday:
The “012 Baku Public Art” Festival will feature the work of twenty-one of the finest emerging and established artists in Azerbaijan. Each has been given the task of creating a visual reinterpretation of a setting that holds significance for them within the city. Working alongside local historians, they have made a detailed study of their chosen location, whether a building, park or balcony. The Festival will launch with a temporary exhibition of the sketches, notes, photographs and films made during this creative process. These materials will be on public display between the 25 February and 1 March 2012 at the “UNS Creative Stage”.
From 9 March 2012 one public art work will be unveiled, every Friday, over twenty one weeks, on the site which inspired their creation. This will allow the work of each artist to be celebrated individually, as though in a solo exhibition, but in fact as part of a city-wide festival. By bringing their work into the public sphere, the artists will gain creative freedom and will achieve a higher level of exposure without the constraints imposed by a gallery or museum.
All events are free and open to the public. For more information about the festival, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or check the festival’s Facebook page.