Ad Nuis | 'Oil & Paradise'

Exhibitions / Rotterdam
14 June 2014 - 31 August, Tues-Fri 10am-5pm; Sat-Sun 11am-5pm

Nederlands Fotomusuem, Wilhelminakade 332, 3072 AR
+31 (0)10 203 0405
€: 9

The Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam will be showing the multimedia work Oil & Paradise, 10 trips to Azerbaijan by Ad Nuis, a visual narrative recounting the geopoltics of Baku and the resulting surge in wealth created by oil.

Ad Nuis Oil & Paradise

Oil & Paradise in Baku

Beginning in 2005, Dutch photographer Ad Nuis became fascinated with the rapid economic development occuring in Azerbaijan. 

At the heart of this fascination was an oil pipeline. A 1.700km long piece of metal stretching from Georgia, through Azerbaijan, to Turkey that transports a million barrels of oil per day to Europe. 

A result of Western investment to reduce reliance on Russia, the pipeline suddenly made Azerbaijan an oil-rich state.

From 2008 to 2013, Nuis travelled to the capital city of Baku a total of 10 times to document the rapid changes spurred by the need to extract and transport oil.

For Oil & Paradise, the photographs of Nuis highlight the absurd inequality in wealth created by the demand for oil. 


ad nuis oil&paradise
All photos by Ad Nuis

Through still images, television snippets, radio fragments and telephone recordings, Nuis shows the rash divide between the ridiculously luxurious lives of Baku's new elite and the extreme poverty existing, literally, outside the city walls.

A type of mirror for those in the West, the unbelievable contrasts of extreme luxury against deserted oil fields are at once confronting and surreal.

Ad Nuis, photographer

Ad Nuis (1958) is an independent Dutch photographer who works for a variety of media including De Volkskrant, NRC Handelsblad and the VPRO gids.

Graduating from the School for Photography in The Hague in 1985, Nuis now takes on a variety of journalistic and documentary assignments, including his own weekly feature Nuis-NL in Vrij Nederland magazine.

Ad Nuis Oil & Paradise 2014


There will be an accompanying book app available for download on June 14.
The Nederlands Fotomuseum will also present the Ermakov Photostudio exhibition to give a picture of the Caucasus at the end of the 19th century.

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