Publishing of

«Liquid Land»

by Rena Effendi

Publishing of «Liquid Land» by Rena Effendi

Liquid Land is the second monograph from Azerbaijani photographer Rena Effendi (b. 1977), which intertwines two threads of photographs: the first is a portrayal of life around the environmental wasteland of the Absheron peninsula, and the second is a collection of butterfly portraits taken by the artist's father, Rustam Effendi, a scientist who studied, hunted and collected butterflies. The book brings these two bodies of photographs together, those by Rena and those by her father, and they work in concert to form a deeper narrative, both incredibly personal (as a story about Rena learning to understand her father) and also general (as an observation about the delicate state of nature).
Effendi says of the peninsula, «In and around Baku, its main city, the earth is breathing petroleum fumes, as oil oozes to the surface, turning it liquid. The Caspian Sea hugs the eagle-beak shaped land, salting its gas-pocked soil.» By photographing people who live here, in both portraits and reportage, as well as showing scenes of the pollution itself, Effendi demonstrates the life, which goes on in Absheron. By pairing these photographs with some of her father's butterflies, she beautifully articulates the ubiquitous drive towards life, the tragedy of industrial destruction, and the fragile balance between the two, which is in a constant state of provocation.
«This book was made possible with the generous support of: The Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development; Mr.
Ulvi Kasimov, chairman of the IQ Group investment company; Fondation Novruz». Rena Effendi, (Acknowledgements in the book «Liquid Land»)