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The Baku Modern Art Museum (MoMA Baku) presents the Exhibition CLOSELY by the Honored Artist of the Republic of Azerbaijan Sabina Shikhiskaya. The Project has been financially supported by the Swiss Agensy for Develpmet and Cooperation SDC and implemented in cooperation with the Goethe Zentrum in Baku, Embassy of the Republic of Latvia, Embassy of Sweden and Platform ART.
The project CLOSELY is a multimedia exhibition of contemporary art. Its subject is the oil industry and the life of oilmen in its “heroic” aspect. The exhibition presents monumental paintings, videos, and
Total installations was conceived by the author to strengthen the visual perception of the subject by the audience and in order to create an atmosphere of the “personal presence” for exhibition visitors and their involvement in an artistic action deployed in the exhibition hall. Characters of modern oil workers are represented by monumental panels and they are made in black and white, and this not only symbolizes the realities of their activities but is also part of the artistic idea. The black and white colors of most exposition emphasize the subject of the “oil” and create a contrast with a bright-colored video as a form of large-scale projections of natural phenomenon, stating the presence of oil and gas deposits, like fire, whose frame has been breaking out from the surface of the Earth forthousands of years; emissions and “breath” of the active mud volcano; bizarre patterns of oil “slick” on the sea surface. In one of the halls of the exposition, audio and video installation dedicated to the memory of the oil industry employees, who gave their lives and died, fulfilling their professional duties. The words and phrases, the voices that heard in different languages in the hall, were pronounced by people who have lost their sons, fathers, husbands, brothers, who remember and grieve about those who died during natural and technological catastrophes on platforms, who find consolation in that their “relatives” became “eternal heroes” not only for their loved ones but also for all mankind.
Since the late 19th century, oil has become a key natural ingredientfor modern society. Movement on land, in water, and in the air would be impossible without gasoline, diesel fuel, and kerosene. In a wide
range of materials typical for the modern lifestyle, oil is one the main products of consumption, becoming that “black gold” of out time.
The better realize the whole importance and difficulty in theproduction of “oil”, Shikhlinskaya decided to emphasize the role of the “human factor” in the oil industry. The profession of oil workers continues to remain both prestigious and dangerouse, despite the fact that the technologies have developed, the risks compared. The life of oil workers on offshore oil industry now and 100 year ago would be compared. The life of oil workers on offshore oil platforms and shore oil fields is still linked with risks and dangers and is a vivid example of the dedicattion and courage of people who have devoted
their lives to developing and producing such important natural raw materials for modern civilization and its activity, as oil.