11 Nov > 16 Apr 17


YARAT Contemporary Art Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan

11 November 2016 – 16 April 2017

YARAT Contemporary Art Centre presents Dis Place – a solo exhibition by the Columbian-born artist Oscar Murillo.

YARAT Contemporary Art Space is pleased to present a major solo exhibition by Colombian-born artist Oscar Murillo.  The exhibition, which includes a newly commissioned series of works in an immersive installation environment, continues the artist's engagement with  materials as a means of exploring wider conceptual dialogues surrounding  structures of production within a specific geographic context. 

Murillo frequently explores issues of community and migration drawing upon his own cultural heritage and that of others. A core aspect of this show is the artist's collaboration with a community of skilled workers from a historic town of Sheki in Northern Azerbaijan. Located at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains, it was an important post on the ancient Silk Route. Sheki Silk Factory, which produced silk and cotton textiles and employed over 7000 people during the Soviet times, formed the core of the community of workers living in the city. Most of them are currently disenfranchised as the factory operates at a fraction of its former self after attempts of post-Soviet privatization. Numerous journeys to the factory throughout the year have formed the backbone of Murillo's exhibition at YARAT at the same time referencing a similar socio-economic situation at the sugar-cane factory in his hometown of La Paila in Colombia. Through a meaningful collaboration with the Sheki Silk Factory and the town's community, these  discourses manifest themselves through  both  the  materials he chooses to use and a revival  of the factory as a site of production. 

Murillo collaborated with local artisans to create a series of large-scale works based on a medieval stained glass technique still practiced in the region and found in Sheki's famous Khan's Palace. In fragments of now bastard territory, 1991-2016, the artist replaces the delicate material of colorful glass with scraps of discarded metal from the  factory  yard,  thereby  playing  with  the original aesthetic and adding a political dimension to the poetic oriental design. A copper grid running across the ceiling of the entire space acts as support for the artists “black paintings”, which are suspended at various levels from the grid, obscuring the ceiling completely in places.

The installation, a futile mercantile disposition (2016), creates an oppressive environment and evokes entropy within a community, as well as individual lives, engendered by turbulent economic shifts. A graphite drawing made directly on the gallery wall references the fleeting memory of the factory, caught between functionality and complete dissolution, while a video recording of a spin top, catalyst (2016), becomes a focal point of the show and symbolizes the passing of time and history repeating itself.  

With special thanks to Tunc LLC and Marita Terriquez.

Artist Biography:

Born in 1986 in Colombia, Oscar Murillo received his B.F.A. in 2007 from the University of Westminster, London, followed by his M.F.A in 2012 from the Royal College of Art, London. His paintings, video works, and performances are tied to a notion of community stemming from the artist’s cross-cultural ties to London and La Paila, Colombia, where he currently lives and works. Murillo has exhibited widely at prominent institutions worldwide. In 2015, solo presentations were held at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, New York (part of Performa 15); Museo de Arte de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá; and Centro Cultural Daoíz y Velarde, Madrid (part of ArcoColombia 2015). Earlier this year, Murillo’s work was featured in the 2nd Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art 2016 in China and the 3rd Aichi Triennial. Homo Faber: A Rainbow Caravan in Japan. The artist is currently participating in the 5th Anyang Public Art Project (APAP) in Korea.

This exhibition is curated by Suad Garayeva-Maleki.

Notes to editors:

Exhibition: Dis Place

Location: YARAT Contemporary Art Centre, National Flag Square, Bayil, AZ1003

Dates: 11 November – 16 April 2017

Exhibition open: Tuesday through Sunday, from 11:00 until 20:00.

Admission is free

For media and image enquiries please contact:

Hokuma Karimova

Telephone: +99 450 2746747

E-mail: hokuma.k@yarat.az

YARAT Contemporary Art Centre, National Flag Square, Bayil, AZ1003, Azerbaijan