Goethe-Zentrum Baku to demonstrate Vasco Araújo's "Love and Death" solo exhibition

  06 March 2019    Read: 1593
Goethe-Zentrum Baku to demonstrate Vasco Araújo

Grief and Love… there is much in common between these two feelings: they are unexpected, uncontrolled and unweave the fabric of our essence and being. When either love or grief is fresh and agonising, they are difficult to console or hide.

The subject of love and death and their manifestation in literature and music fascinate artist Vasco Araújo. The grief that arises from the impossibility of being with one’s beloved is as grave and bitter as mourning for a deceased loved one. His interest in studying the appearance of love and creation as an illusion that leads to grief and personal tragedy, such as that found in "Tristan and Isolde" by Richard Wagner and "Leyli and Majnun" by Uzeyir Hajibeyov, led Vasco Araújo to approach this matter from both poetic and psychological perspectives. The obvious similarity of the two works - their plot, the innocent discovery of love, the idea of night as a refuge and the denial of the tribulations of the day, and a culmination of deliverance in the form of death - coupled with the power they express in both word and music resulted in thorough artistic research and a body of work inspired by these operas.

The central piece of Vasco Araújo’s first solo exhibition in Azerbaijan is Liebestod: Love and Death, a video that explores romantic love, passion and the impossibility of two lovers being together. These subjects are inspected through the lens of psychoanalysts from Azerbaijan and Germany. In a series of interviews, they examine and compare the plots of these two operas and answer questions posed by the artist about the definition of love, the projection of the hardship of the protagonists onto present-day situations and professional advice on how one should act when illusion clashes with reality. Combined with profound lyrics, poignant music and sinister night landscapes of ancient cemeteries, abandoned castles and virgin forests these conversations submerge the viewer into the reflection on whether death is the only salvation for eternal love.

Text: Asli Samadova, exhibition curator 

BIOGRAPHY

Vasco Araújo was born in 1975 in Lisbon, the city where he continues to live and work. He completed his first degree in Sculpture in 1999 at FBAUL (Lisbon University School of Fine Art), and attended the Advanced Course in Visual Arts at Maumaus in Lisbon, from 1999 to 2000. Since then, he has participated in various solo and group exhibitions both in Portugal and abroad, also taking part in residency programmes, such as The University of Arts, Philadelphia (2007); Récollets, Paris (2005); and the Core Program (2003/04), Houston. In 2003, he was awarded the EDP Prize for New Artists.

Amongst his solo exhibitions have been “Vasco Araújo”, M-Museum, Leuven, Belgium, (2018); “Decolonial desires”, Autograph ABP, London, U.K. (2016); “Potestad”, MALBA - Museu de Arte Latino-Americana de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.(2015); “Under the Influence of Psyche”, The Power Plant, Toronto (2014); “Debret”, Pinacoteca do Estado de S. Paulo, S. Paulo (2013); “Avec les voix de l’autre”, Musée d’art de Joliette, Joliette (2011); “Mais que a vida”, Fundação C. Gulbenkian/ CAM, Lisboa and MARCO, Vigo (2010) ; “Eco” Jeu de Paume, Paris (2008); “Vasco Araújo: Per-Versions”, the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston (2008); About being Different (2007), BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, U.K.;  Pathos (2006), Domus Artium 2002, Salamanca; Dilemma (2005), S.M.A.K., Ghent; L’inceste (2005), Museu do Azulejo, Lisbon; The Girl of the Golden West (2005), The Suburban, Chicago; Dilema (2004), Museu de Serralves, Porto; Sabine/Brunilde (2003), SNBA, Lisbon.

Amongst his group exhibitions, the most important have been his participation in the as “Triangulo atlântico” Bienal Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2018); “All that Falls”, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014);  “Investigations of a Dog”, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turim (2009); "Everything has a name, or the potential to be named", Gasworks, Londres (2009); “Em Vivo Contacto”, 28º Bienal de S. Paulo, São Paulo (2008);  “Artes Mundi, Wales Internacional Visual Art Exhibition and Prize”, National Museum Cardiff, Cardiff (2008); “Kara Walker and Vasco Araújo:  Reconstruction”, Museum of Fine Arts,  Houston, (2007); “Drei Farben – Blau”, XIII Rohkunstbau, Grobleuthen (2006); “Experience of Art”, La Biennale di Venezia. 51st International Exhibition of Art, Venice; “Dialectics of Hope”, 1st Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art, Moscow, (both in 2005);

Solo (For Two Voices), CCS, Bard College (2002), New York; “The World Maybe Fantastic” Sydney Biennial (2002), Sydney; Trans Sexual Express, Barcelona (2001), a Classic for the Third Millennium (2001), Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, Barcelona.

His work has been published in various books and catalogues and is represented in several public and private collections, such as at the Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Art Moderne (France); Museu Colecção Berardo, Arte Moderna e Contamporânea, (Portugal); Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Portugal); Fundación Centro Ordóñez-Falcón de Fotografía – COFF (Spain); Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, Centro de Arte (Spain); Fundação de Serralves (Portugal); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (USA); Pinacoteca do estado S. Paulo (Brazil).

The exhibition opens at 19:00 on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at Kapellhaus (28 May street, 35) and lasts till April 4. Exhibition regular hours are Wednesday - Sunday, from 13:00 to 19:00. Free admission. 


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