Since 1993 artist, educator and curator Sabina Shikhlinskaya (d.o.b. 1962) has organized more than 50 exhibitions and projects in both Azerbaijani and international venues. In 1996, Shikhliskaya launched the “Labyrinth” project in Baku. This was the first contemporary art exhibition in Azerbaijan resulting from a month-long workshop followed by a group installation by Azerbaijani artists. Following the success of this project, the twelve participating artists, under the leadership of Shikhlinskaya, formed the Labyrinth Art Group. In 1999, Sabina Shikhlinskaya curated the first land art project in Azerbaijan with the artists from the Labyrinth Art Group. This land art workshop, symposium and exhibition was dedicated to the theme of “Paradise Lost” – the artists’ interpretation of the state of environment in Baku city and its surrounding. “Paradise Lost” was followed by the second symposium - “Paradise Found” in 2000, where the same participants created installations in the nature of the mountain areas of Azerbaijan. In 2001, Shikhlinskaya organized the third consecutive land art project on the theme of “Fire” – interpreting the ancient tradition of Zoroastrianism. For the next land art project in 2004 – “Nargin Island”, Sabina Shikhlinskaya curated an international group of artists together with the Labirynth members that inhabited an abandoned military island. Through painting, sculpting and installation, the artists transformed the environment of the military debris into objects of their personal artistic interpretation.
In 2005 within the framework of “Aluminum” - Azerbaijan’s second International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Sabina Shiklinskaya curated a public performance of the Labirynth Art Group members, who painted and sculpted in the abandoned oil fields of Baku, thus transforming the nature of oil from its utilitarian purpose to the art medium.
In 2007, Sabina Shikhlinskaya was the curator of the Azerbaijan’s 1st pavilion at the 52nd Art Biennale in Venice. In 2008, Shikhlinskaya curated a group exhibition “USSR – Remix” the artists’ discussion on the topic of post-communist traces in the mentality of peoples and nations once living under the Soviet regime. Later that year, USSR – Remix was exhibited in Dresden Museum of Art along with another group show curated by Shikhlinskaya - “Steps of Time” – a selection of art works by Azerbaijani artists of different generations, from Soviet (both social realists and non-conformist) to young contemporary artists. In 2009 Sabina Shikhlinskaya organized “Maiden Tower”, the international forum of contemporary art on the theme of gender that took place in Baku, Azerbaijan.
In 2010, Shikhlinskaya curated international video art exhibition “ Openly” on the theme of gender. Exhibition was shown in Istanbul, Antrepo in the frames of “ Istanbul 2010 – Capital of Culture of Europe”.
In 2010 Shikhlinskaya presented new version of USSR-remix group exhibition project in Norway. It was exhibited in Tou Scene Art Centre of Stavanger.
Between 1996 – 2005, alongside her curatorial activities, Sabina Shikhlinskaya undertook a number of educational art projects in various institutions. She founded a school of painting for children, taught art in European Lyceum in Baku and TISA, the International School of Azerbaijan. She also conducted art therapy courses for vulnerable children: war refugees, orphans and children with disabilities.
In both her educational and curatorial projects, Sabina Shikhlinskaya partnered with such organizations as the Solomon Guggenheim Museum, UNDP, UNESCO, UNIFEM, Open Society Institute, Appolonia Art Exchanges, Azerbaijan Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Azerbaijan Ministry of Youth and Sports, Azerbaijan Center for Contemporary Arts, Azerbaijani Artists Union, Museum of Fine Art of Azerbaijan, as well as cultural representations of French, Italian, German, Norwegian, and Japanese embassy missions in Azerbaijan.
Born: April 26, 1962, Baku, Azerbaijan
1977-1981 A.Azimzade State College of Fine Arts, Baku, Azerbaijan
1981-1983 V.Mukhina Institute of Arts, St.-Petersburg, Russia
1983-1988 Azerbaijan State University of Arts and Culture, Baku, Azerbaijan
since 1988 Member of the Union of the Azerbaijan Artists
since 1989 Member of Baku Art Center
since 1996 Initiator of “Labyrinth” Art Group
since 2006 Title of “Honored Artist” of Azerbaijan
2009 - International Forum of Contemporary Art – “Maiden Tower”, Center for Contemporary Art, Baku, Azerbaijan
- Solo exhibition of Y. Agaoglu “I can do it too”, Turkish Cultural Center, Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
2008 - International project “USSR-remix”, Center for Contemporary Art, Baku, Azerbaijan
- Exhibition “Steps of Time”, Dresden Museum of Art, Germany
- 1st International Exhibition of Contemporary Art – “Artisterium”, solo
exhibition of Y. Agaoglu “I can do it too”, Caucasian House, Tbilisi, Georgia
- Exhibition of contemporary Norwegian artists – “Bridge”, Center for Contemporary Art, Baku, Azerbaijan
2007 - 52nd Venice Biennale, Pavilion of Azerbaijan Republic, Venice, Italy
- 3d International Biennale of Contemporary Art “Aluminum”, Shirvanshakh’s Palace, Baku, Azerbaijan
2005 - 2nd International Biennale of Contemporary Art “Aluminum”, “Land Art Oil” project, “Qiz Qalasi” Art gallery, Baku, Azerbaijan
- “Gender” exhibition, Museum Center, Baku, Azerbaijan
- International Art Festival, Pavilion of Azerbaijan, Jerusalem, Israel
2003 - International Land Art project “Nargin Island”, Absheron, Azerbaijan
2001 - Project Land Art “Fire” – symposium, workshop, exhibition, Baku, Azerbaijan
2000 - Project Land Art “Paradise Found” - symposium, workshop, exhibition, Gakh, Azerbaijan
1999 - Project Land Art “Paradise Lost” - symposium, workshop, exhibition, Absheron, Azerbaijan
- International Fair “Eurasian Zone” ARMANEGE’99, Moscow, Russia
1996 - “Labyrinth” – workshop, exhibition, S. Bakhulzade gallery, Baku, Azerbaijan