YARAT to present 'ISOLATION ROOM/GALLERY KIT' project in Baku

YARAT to present 'ISOLATION ROOM/GALLERY KIT' project in Baku

YARAT is delighted to announce a one month collaborative project with ISOLATION ROOM/ GALLERY KIT which will take place in Baku, March 2015. The project is scheduled to coincide with American Week, organized by the US Embassy in Baku.

ISOLATION ROOM/ GALLERY KIT is an evolving project which consists of a 'gallery kit' or 7' x 7'x 9' box which can be readily constructed in any interior space. ISOLATION ROOM/ GALLERY KIT then forms a modular viewing space or gallery, complete with lighting rig, in which an individual art work can be shown. The project will host a changing series of exhibitions showing work by two artists from the United States alongside 2-3 Azerbaijani artists. Local artists were selected through an open call engaging the local art scene and promoting an exchange between American and Azerbaijani artists.

Originally conceived by Daniel McGrath and Dana Turkovic in St. Louis, America, in July 2010 ISOLATION ROOM/ GALLERY KIT allows the artists to place a work of art into a state of quarantine, removed from any pre-existing themes or contextualisations. Forcing both the viewer and the artwork into a confined space, the project encourages spectators to engage with the work on a purely aesthetic level and re-establishes the relationship between artists, curator and audience.

Over three and half years, ISOLATION ROOM/ GALLERY KIT has been built and experienced in a variety of local, national and international venues such as: The Fabrikken, Copenhagen, Denmark; The Lemp Brewery, St. Louis; Hunter College Galleries, New York; The Luminary, St. Louis; and has exhibited works by Ed Ruscha, Marcel Dzama and Alison Jackson.

To accompany the work, YARAT will organise an additional lectures and discussions by Daniel McGrath and Dana Turkovic.

11 Mar, 7:30pm - The Matroyshka Model and other Curatorial Projects , a lecture by Dana Turkovic

13 Mar, 7:00pm - Revenge 101 Lecture , a lecture by Daniel McGrath

YARAT is a not-for-profit organisation, based in Baku, Azerbaijan. Founded by Aida Mahmudova and a group of artists in 2011, YARAT is dedicated to nurturing an understanding of contemporary art in Azerbaijan and to creating a platform for Azerbaijani art, both nationally and internationally.

YARAT (which means create in Azerbaijani) has commissioned over 80 projects to date, the majority in Baku, Azerbaijan. Education is at the core of YARAT's work and they hold artist residencies, workshops, lectures, and screenings and in 2014 they launched a summer school. YARAT's programme ARTIM (meaning progress in Azerbaijani supports young practitioners in the arts providing opportunities to curate and feature their work in exhibitions. In 2012, YARAT opened a social enterprise YAY Gallery, where proceeds are shared between the artists and YARAT.

YARAT's has produced two Public Art Festivals in Baku, exhibitions in collaboration with the city's museums and international projects such as a collateral event for the 55th Venice Biennale and the IV Moscow International Biennale for Young Art.

The organisation continues to grow; in 2014 YARAT opened a new building housing artists' studios and apartments to support their residency programme. YARAT Contemporary Art Centre opens in March 2015 and is the organisation's first permanent project space and a hub for contemporary art and art education for the Caucasus, Central Asia and neighbouring countries.

About The Curators

Daniel McGrath is an adjunct professor in the art department at Lindenwood University in St. Louis. In 2005, he received his Master of Arts from King's College - University of London. In 2000, he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the UCLA. He is co-director of ISOLATION ROOM/ GALLERY KIT, was co-director of Sweetboy Projects in Los Angeles and has organised exhibitions in Los Angeles, St. Louis and the United Kingdom. He is a contributing art writer for Art Papers, Art US, Review, Sculpture and St. Louis Magazine. He has published essays on the work of Korean artist Fi Jae Lee, local painter Jaime Adams, and book reviews for the Imperial War Museum in London. He has exhibited his work at Hunter College MFA Studios, New York; Office Space, Los Angeles; SweetboyProjects, Los Angeles; Pirate, Burford, UK; PSTL, St. Louis; and the Hunt Gallery, St. Louis. He lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri and is the director of duet, a curatorial project in St. Louis.

Dana Turkovic is Curator of Exhibitions at Laumeier Sculpture Park. She is also an adjunct professor in the art department at Webster University. In 2005, she received her Master of Arts from Goldsmiths College - University of London in curatorial studies. Though she spent many years as the senior designer for the UCLA Hammer Museum, she has turned her attention to creative curatorial endeavors. She has organised exhibitions in Athens, Greece, Los Angeles at Monte Vista Projects in alternative spaces in London and Oxford in the United Kingdom and in St. Louis at the Contemporary Art Museum, Boots Contemporary Art Space, Ellen Curlee Gallery, White Flag Projects and Schmidt Contemporary Art. She has written for publications such as Art US and Review magazine. She lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri.

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