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“Love Me Love Me Not”, Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan and its Neighbours, Baku


Following its successful debut at the 55th Venice Biennale “Love Me, Love Me Not” traveled the following year to the region and city that inspired the project in the first place. The exhibition opened to the public from 3 April until 25 May 2014 at the Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku shortly after the building’s inauguration. Designed by Zaha Hadid, the HAC was one of her most ambitious projects to date. Over 100,000 square metres including the surrounding grounds, the center’s walls rose seamlessly from the surface of the surrounding plaza. Featuring the works in this new setting gave the exhibition a new dimension in addition to enabling the local audience to enjoy it as well as other art lovers who had missed it during the time it was showcased in Venice. The exhibition was supported by YARAT, a not-for-profit contemporary art organisation based in Baku and was curated by Dina Nasser-Khadivi.

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The exhibition offered a diverse range of media and subject matter, with video, installation and painting. Pieces ranged from those steeped in historical reference, to those with more site-specific responses through to those which were inspired by personal history. Each work had a role of giving the viewers at least one new perspective on the nations represented in this pavilion with the intent to give a better understanding of the region covered, in addition to ultimately question how we each perceived history and geography.

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