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Fri, 07/20/2012 - 17:58
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YARAT! Organization presents Nail Alakbarov’s project "Seven beauties" in Baku

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 20 / Trend V. Imanov / The YARAT! nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of contemporary art of Azerbaijan presented Nail Alakbarov's project "Seven beauties" in Baku on Friday. Famous artists and public figures attended the event organized during 012 Baku Public Art Festival. This composition represents a sculptural image of seven armudi glasses standing on top of each other. Armudi is the name of traditional Azerbaijanian glass used for drinking tea, it can be translated as "pear-shaped" since it resembles a pear. On the other hand such shape could be associated with the contour of a female body. Thus the glasses also symbolize seven beauties from a similarly named masterpiece written by Nizami Gencevi. The sculpture will be installed in Icheri Sheher among ancient architecture. The aim of this project is to combine a national aspect with the international. As the people of the era of globalization tend to say: "Think global, act local". In other words the artist provides contemporary art that is cosmo political by definition with a national content. Being a representative of local artistic intelligentsia, the artist is trying to express his concerns about the loss of cultural identity in the countries that have already faced globalization. Though the work is a piece of contemporary art, it still demonstrates a prevailing Eastern-centric vector. Historical Background In Azerbaijan, where tea-drinking is widespread, tea is regarded as a symbol of hospitality and respect to guests. Serving tea before the main course is an old tradition. It is a customary to drink tea not from porcelain cups but from special pear-shaped glasses that are called armudu. Their shape resembles a pear with slightly smaller top than the bottom distinguished by a narrow "waistline". There are numerous interpretations why these glasses have such an unusual form: it is easy to handle, it resembles a shape of a woman's body, etc. As a matter of fact, the reason is quite simple: the tea in the bottom section of the glass cools down slower than in the upper one, keeping the temperature of the tea same. Determined by its functionality and beautiful shape armudu is definitely a perfection in terms of design. Every Azerbaijani city, no matter how big or small, has a tea-house. Tea houses play an important role in the social life of the citizens, people discuss news, read newspapers, make plans, play backgammon, maintain relations. Tea is also a very important aspect of the Azerbaijani engagement process. Parents of the bride show their respond to the groom by serving him a tea, if they serve it with sugar it means "yes", if without - it means "no". Founded in 2011 by Aida Mahmudova, YARAT! is a non-commercial, private organisation dedicated to the promotion and nurturing of Azeri Contemporary art nationally and internationally.