Virtual Reality

The year 2019 marks Azerbaijan’s fourth participation in the Venice Biennale, realized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. This year for the 58th Biennale of contemporary art, the Azerbaijan Pavilion is proud to present Virtual Reality, an exhibition of works by contemporary artists that draws on the phenomenon of fake news now seen as one of the greatest threats to democracy, free debate, and progress. It examines the ideas and dangers of living in a post-truth era. The exhibition builds on themes and techniques explored by Kanan & Ulviyya Aliyev, Zarnishan Yusif, Zeigam Azizov, and Orkhan Mammadov in their previous works. Each day, we are susceptible to a mind-boggling tsunami of news. Individuals check their telephones around 150 times each day around the world, and over 2 billion individuals use Facebook. There is a significant change in the manner in which we receive data and news today. Fake news stories are more often shared via web-based networking media than official news stories, and a significant part of the contention around false news is about something other than whether its content is valid or not. We all need to escape the confines of confirmation bias and shine a light on our unconscious leanings. We should embrace the communications. and the We go. merely to the In projects, In more not is reality. 8 receive the views of others and acknowledge the other side in our communications. We should stimulate and participate in debate and remember that social media platforms only give us more of the same. It is up to us as individuals to change that pattern. We need to call out the “fake” when we see it and not just let it go. We should be outraged — and do this vocally and loudly, not merely accept it and move on. To be taken seriously, we all need to find our authentic, trusted, and believed voice, for it carries the weight to make a difference. In Virtual Reality, the artists present interactive multimedia projects, installations, and sculptures. In a time of international instability, where the world is facing more significant change than ever before, this exhibition could not be more affecting. Virtual Reality addresses an issue that is at the heart of today’s politics and questions our everyday reality