Under One Sun

The Art of Living Together

Biennale Arte 2017

Open to the public: 13 May - 26 November 2017
Preview: 11 May 2017

Venue: Palazzo Lezze, Campo S.Stefano,
San Marco 2949, Venice

Foreword

The Azerbaijan Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, entitled Under one sun. The art of living together, has symbolic significance. Ensuring peace and stability in a modern era with complex geopolitical processes is one of humanity’s most important issues. Today we witness negative trends taking place around the world.


Unfortunately, dangerous factors such as xenophobia, extremism, religious discrimination, and terrorism violate peaceful norms of co-existence and lead to calamity within civilizations and nations. In this context, every nation should contribute to the strengthening of positive trends, the propagation and promotion of public relations based on multicultural traditions, and dialogue between cultures and civilizations.


As a country with deep multiculturalism roots, Azerbaijan makes every effort to promote the values of multiculturalism, peace, cooperation, and mutual understanding in the international arena. Azerbaijan is located at the crossroads of civilizations, cultures, and religions between Europe and Asia. This geographical location has played a vital role in cultural diversity. For centuries, different nations living in Azerbaijan have had traditional friendly and neighborly relations, with different religions and beliefs thriving in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust. Azerbaijan is the native land of everyone who lives here, regardless of nationality, religion, and language. By representing the existing situation in our country, we show to the world that people can unite around ideas of multiculturalism. I believe that Under one sun. The art of living together, which provides the opportunity engage with the Azerbaijani model of multiculturalism, will promote tolerance, mutual trust, solidarity, and friendship among different nations.


Mehriban Aliyeva
President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation

In Azerbaijan many people from very different backgrounds have lived alongside each other since time immemorial. Within a major region that combines European and Eastern civilizations, it is unavoidable that religion, philosophy, and political theories confront each other. The peaceful cohabitation of different cultures in Azerbaijan and the preservation of the best traditions of Eastern hospitality spark wonder in this age of globalization, ethnic conflicts, intolerance, and aggression. The metaphorical title UNDER ONE SUN. The Art of Living Together, explains the subjects of this exhibition, focusing on the cultural and ethnical diversity in Azerbaijan. It is mostly about the tolerance that has developed among these groups over the years. At the same time, however, it sends a hidden message about the challenges they are facing in order to maintain peace. Furthermore, it demonstrates Azerbaijan’s continuous effort towards a peaceful solution to the Armenian-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.


At the entrance of the pavilion the visual performance group HYPNOTICA has set up twenty monitors showing an ethnic minority speaking its own language. Personal interviews merge into one another on the screens. The unity that is created through the text and the language, and that is especially emphasized by an anthropomorphic sculpture, reflects the different ethnic groups living together in one country.


In parallel, the artist Elvin Nabizade presents an installation named after the exhibition’s title that fills an entire room on the first floor. Cultural diversity is also his main theme. He shows approximately fifty Saz, traditional instruments that resemble string instruments, in the form of a rainbow. Symbolically, it is not only the act of speaking, but also the common language of music that connects the various minorities.


The exhibition points out the ethnic diversity in Azerbaijan and the harmony between its cultures. Respect for the many different origins and traditions of these cultures have guaranteed their survival up to the present day. Azerbaijan may thus help to orient and guide other nations plagued by internal conflict.


At the exhibition, young artists will present their interactive multimedia projects, video and video mapping, installations and sculptures. Under One Sun. The Art of Living Together reveals the amazing polychromy of Azerbaijani culture, starting from its origins and traditional forms up to its different present manifestations.