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Open Air Sculpture Museum, Garadag, Azerbaijan 

Curated by Farah Piriye,

September 2013

An open-air sculpture museum named "The territory of wind” designed by well-known artist Altay Sadikhzade was presented at the territory of AzMeCo methanol plant located in Garadagh.
Among those who participated in the event were Mrs. Fatma Abdullazade, the head of the Department on Humanitarian Policy Issues of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Abulfas Garayev, the minister of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, Mrs. Hijran Huseynova, chairperson of the State Committee for Family, Woman and Children Affairs, prof. Nargiz Pashayeva, the rector of the Baku branch of the Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov and artistic director of the UNS creative scene, teachers and students of the Department of Chemistry of the Baku branch of the Moscow State University, Ms. Aida Mahmudova, the founder of "Yarat! Contemporary Art Space” non-commercial private organization, prominent public figures, well-known figures of culture and art, and the representatives of diplomatic missions.

Garadagh. The territory of wind. Due to the rapid development of Baku and the emergence of numerous cultural projects, art has moved outside the capital, and appeared in a whole new area of the country.
Post-industrial harmony. An amazing project by the famous artist and avant-garde sculptor Altay Sadikhzade, created within the boundaries of the AzMeCo methanol plant in Garadagh district, is a sculptural complex consisting of 17 art objects located next to the gigantic industrial construction of the plant. This open-air sculpture museum is a kind of experiment in immersing artists in the romanticism of the era of the industrial and cultural revolutions. The result is eclectic – an unusual unity of giant refinery and abstract sculptures with the natural landscape of Garadagh in the background.
Alternative energy. The central structure, Factory of the Wind, created by Altay Sadikhzade holds the entire composition of the complex. It is reminiscent of a kind of wind or solar collector, which generates energy to unite all the other small and medium size works of art around it. This sculpture consists of the capsule of a powerful steel reactor located at its center, out of which some clockwork parts and windmills with giant wheels and blades seem to grow, thus creating a structural tension between the different parts of the sculpture.

Alien spaceships. The museum presents a wide range of dynamic compositions, very bright and bold in colour, created by talented Azerbaijani artists possessing an inexhaustible imagination, such as Eldar Mamedov, Aida Makhmudova, Aga Ousseynov and Altay Sadikhzade. Located within the plant space these fantastic works take their material from the industrial detritus – tubes, pipes, fittings and metal beams, bear the features of metaphysical abstract symbolism and resemble the peaceful invasion of extraterrestrial objects. As if hypnotized, we vainly try to unravel the secrets of these sculptures made in the style of Nouveau Réalisme. The dynamic yellow sculpture Naive Meteorology by Aga Ousseynov, which is about to start its rhythmic motion; the impressive installation created by Aida Makhmudova, collected from an old tracery window frame, evokes nostalgia by linking a cosmic future with details from the past; the grandiose pink coach by Sadikhzade, reminiscent of a time machine; as well as romantic heroes by Eldar Mamedov, deprived of identity - eternal observers and immortal guardians of the winds.


Commissioner. The emergence of the plant-museum came about when the chairman of the board of AzMeCo, Nizami Piriyev, a longtime art lover, decided to add creativity to the industrial zone of the plant. Arranging Art Zones in abandoned factories and garages is not a new concept, but this cultural expansion into the area of an active methanol plant, producing what is considered an alternative fuel, symbolizes a new era of industrial and cultural boom in the country.

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