04 June, 2011

Venice - Aidan Salakhova

La Biennale di Venezia
Palazzo Benzon, Venice
Azerbaijan National Pavilion

Over the past 20 years Aidan Salakhova has been one of the leading international artists to emerge from Russia and the former Soviet space. ``Destination'' is her first time working with sculpture. This project consists of items made from marble that were mined in Carrara and Belgium, and some of which weigh more than one tonne. “Destination” is partly based on an earlier series of graphic works titled, “Persian Miniatures”, through which Ms Salakhova investigates male and female themes in the context of Islam.

Ms Salakhova's works will be at the Azerbaijan national pavilion. She will be one of six artists who experienced the political, economic, and cultural transformations in the post-Soviet space over the last three decades, and who have incessantly and critically responded to global challenges through their work. These artists represent Azerbaijan and have their cultural roots in the country, but their work is extremely intricate and complex to be limited under a single national identity.


Two large-scale sculptural works by Moscow-based artist Aidan Salakhova, on show at the entrance of the Azerbaijan National Pavilion, were yesterday hidden from view under drapes following protests from the Azerbaijan president. ... Ilham Aliyev took offence at the pieces because of their references to Islam. One work, Waiting Bride, 2010-11, which shows a woman covered in a black veil from head to foot, was deemed as promoting an unacceptably strict form of Islam.

The other sculpture, which depicts the Muslim relic, the Black Stone of Mecca, contained in a vagina-like marble frame, was considered insensitive to the religion. The works will remain under wraps for a week.

From the Art Newspaper

The sculptures were damaged. They will be shown right after being repaired. From Aydan Salakhova's facebook-page.


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