VITA VITALE (VITAL LIFE): 56th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, Official Azerbaijan Pavilion, 2015

'Vita Vitale in Venice was wonderful, not only because of artwork selected, but also for the way it was inspired by its setting. The installation inside Ca'Garzoni was sensitive and smart, especially given its location. Water, water everywhere was perfect for an exhibition with such an ecological proposition and, in particular, Rondinone's dead tree - so human, so appealing! Seen against the backdrop of the Grand Canal it made a huge impression.'

- Jonathan Watkins, Director of Ikon Gallery, Birmingham


Artwise curated the official Azerbaijan Pavilion for the 56th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, 2015, Vita Vitale (Vital Life). With this exhibition we considered how human activity impacts upon the delicate balance of our planet’s ecosystem, and the repercussions for our future survival.


Illuminating the ways in which we have transformed the planet, the exhibition explored the effects of plastic pollutants, mass consumerism, climate change, depleting resources, deteriorating landscapes, rising sea levels, and endangered species. While some of the exhibition’s artists and scientists directly address environmental concerns, others do so more laterally. However, they all challenge us to confront the potential dangers of ignoring the messages that Vita Vitale conveys, while simultaneously suggesting creative tools and ideas for change. 


"I absolutely loved the Vita Vitale exhibition, for me it was one of the highlights of the Venice Biennale. It was totally informative and educational and was the jewel in the crown of the biennale." - Anita Zabludowicz, Collector and co-founder of the Zabludowicz Collection


Participating Artists:    
Edward Burtynsky Mircea Cantor Loris Cecchini
Gordon Cheung Khalil Chishtee Tony Cragg
Laura Ford Noemie Goudal Siobhan Hapaska
Paul Huxley IDEA Laboratory and Leyla Aliyeva Rose Wylie
Chris Jordan Rebecca Clark Helena S. Eitel
Tania Kovats Aida Mahmudova Sayyora Muin
Jacco Olivier Julian Opie Julian Perry
Mike Perry Bas Princen Stephanie Quayle
Ugo Rondinone Graham Stevens Diana Thater
Andy Warhol Bill Woodrow Erwin Wurm


Project Details:


Curated by Artwise

Commissioned by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Baku for the IDEA Campaign

Supported by SOS (Save our Species)

Scientific curator Dr Rachel Armstrong

Exhibition consultant Emin Mammadov

Technical and logistical consultant Horst Campman, PARTNER Culture Projects GmbH

Exhibition coordination Carlotta Scarpa, PDG Arte Communications

AV Technical direction Simeon Corless, KS Objectiv


Interview with IDEA Laboratory Curator Rachel Armstrong