A presentation of artist Aga Ousseinov's project "The Kite and the Impossible Globe", organized by the YARAT! nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of contemporary art of Azerbaijan was held in Baku on Friday.
Rector of the Baku branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University, art director of UNS Theatre Nargiz Pashayeva, famous artist Altai Sadikhzade and other famous artists and public figures attended the event organized during 012 Baku Public Art Festival.
Artist Aga Ousseinov's project "The Kite and the Impossible Globe" explores conceptual boundaries between Vertical and Horizontal intentions despite its visual appeal. It's a sort of a confrontation between the ascension, levitation, and aeronautics on one side and earthliness and graceless but simultaneously fragile planetary dynamics on the other. To some degree this edge is close to some kind of energy originating from disruption of the sky and the earth...
The first intention is symbolized by the kite while the second one - by a globe framed with an underground map on it. Placed nearby the escalator, this piece can have a peculiar psychological impact on the people descending the escalator, while observing the sculpture of an ascending kite that brings a sense of a slight disruption to our perception...
This installation was supposed to be placed inside a glass body at the IcheriSheher station. We might enquire ?why this particular place ? It might be the same paradox as the one to which the artist is trying to draw our attention. All the leading science fiction writers and futurologists of the past predicted that aircrafts will prevail among all other vehicles in the future.
Although we observe that the underground transport system far exceeds the ground transport in terms of speed, efficiency, mobility, and safety. Previously called BakiSoveti, the IcheriSheher station is also significant in relation to the childhood of the artist, who often visited the Palace of the Pioneers situated nearby. It was the place where he took his first painting classes and thus we can say that the choice of the place for the installation was motivated by his personal experiences.
Spanning one and a half centuries, the history of Baku's transport system is quite interesting. When the governorate center status was passed on from Shamakhi to Baku in 1859, all city transport was horse-drawn: most importantly cargo was transported by horses, mules, donkeys or camel caravan. Ceremoniously sailing through the city, camels could have been seen on photographs taken until 1910s. The history of public transport begins in 1889, when the horse-drawn railway was built in Baku. It successfully existed till the 1920s, when the Soviet authority was set up. It was planned to launch electric trams by 1915, but the First World War along with forthcoming riots and ethnic clashes have postponed those plans for as long as a decade.
The first tram line started to operate in Baku on February 8, 1924. It was the first tram line in the whole USSR. Moreover, all the works that needed to be done in order to launch this line were accomplished in a record time of 11 months and operated without any issues: by late 1920s its profitability surpassed the Moscow tram line. The Record length of the tram line was achieved in 1966 - it totaled 102 kilometers! During its 150 year history, by 1989 Baku tram had altogether transported... 5 billion people (nearly the population of the Earth at the time).
After the tram Baku had set another record when Baku-Sabunchi electric railway was introduced into service in 1926 for the first time on the territory of USSR. This line that connected the center of the city with the oilfields was 19.5 kilometers long. In forthcoming decades the electric railway lines covered the whole Absheron peninsula, reaching even the Artyom (Pirallahi) Island.
Founded in 2011 by Aida Mahmudova, YARAT! is a non-commercial, private organisation dedicated to the promotion and nurturing of Azeri Contemporary art nationally and internationally.