SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS

The modern installation by the famous Azerbaijani artist Huseyn Hagverdiyev entitled Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors forms a vital part of the exposition at the Yanar Dag tourist complex.

The installation comprises wood illuminated by spurts of flames. Ancient people holding hands apparently perform a weird rite dedicated to the worship of fire. The attentive viewer will notice the similarity between the silhouettes and matches. The installation reminds us to perceive fire as mankind’s heritage carried from ancient times through the centuries to the present day.

It is difficult to imagine contemporary life without fire. Thanks to fire, people live in comfortable environments. They have warm houses, tasty food, and hot water. They also use objects created by fire daily. The process of controlling flames was very complicated and lengthy. Thanks to our ancestors, we can use this resource today. Humans mastered fire over half a million years ago. The ancient people deified fire and all the natural phenomena that were associated with this element, especially volcanic eruptions, thunder, and the emergence of fire from the earth’s core. Humans linked these events inextricably with the meaning of fire. Fire allowed them to obtain heat, light the home, cook food, scare away wild animals, and eventually to produce tools, arms, and dishes. Fire enabled humans to become strong and protected. While early man used fire derived from nature, people later learned how to create fire by themselves.

Thus, fire has played a dominant role in all stages of the development of mankind.

Perhaps our fascination with fire emanates from the intricate and philosophical connections that have existed between generations for millennia. We may be modern and strong and have the latest technologies, but our forgotten ancestors controlled fire for us many centuries ago, providing us with one of our chief means of existence and reliable protection.