Born in 1977 in Baku, Azerbaijan, Rena Effendi grew up in the USSR. Educated as a linguist, she took her first photographs in 2001 after attending private painting classes. Rena Effendi’s early work focused on the oil industry’s effects on people’s lives in her country. As a result, she followed a 1,700 km oil pipeline through Georgia and Turkey, collecting stories along the way. This work of six years was published in 2009 in her first book “Pipe Dreams: A Chronicle of Lives along the Pipeline”. In 2013, Effendi published her second monograph “Liquid Land”, a lyrical narrative, where her images are paired with her father’s photographs of perished and devastated post-industrial landscapers of the her native Baku.
Effendi has won several international photography awards including the “Fifty Crows” Documentary Photography award, National Geographic “All Roads” photography award and Getty Images Editorial grant. In 2005 she participated in the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. In 2011 Rena Effendi became the laureate of the Prince Claus Fund award for Culture and Development and in 2012 she was shortlisted for the Prix Pictet award in photography and sustainability for her series Chernobyl: Still Life in the Zone and in that same year was one of the winners of the SONY World Photography Awards in the Fine Art category. In 2014 Rena Effendi won two awards in the World Press Photo “Observed Portraits” categories for singles and stories.
Her work was exhibited world wide including at the 52nd Venice Biennale, the 2009 Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Saatchi Gallery in London, Breda Museum in the Netherlands and other venues.
SOLO EXHIBITION (Selection)
Liquid Land: Legacy of Oil and Power, Impressions Gallery, Bradford 2013
Lives Behind, Prince Claus Gallery, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 2011
Pipe Dreams, North Dakota Museum of Contemporary Art, USA 2011
Pipe Dreams, Breda Museum, Breda photo festival, the Netherlands 2010
Pipe Dreams, Gallery. Photographer.RU, Vinzavod Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia 2010
Pipe Dreams, Europe House, Tbilisi, Georgia 2010
Pipe Dreams, Culturescapes Festival, Bern, Switzerland 2009
“Azerbaijan in search of identity” Visa Pour L’Image Festival, Perpignan, France 2006
COLLECTIVE EXHIBITION (Selection)
Neighbors, Istanbul Modern Museum 2014
Power, Prix Pictet shortlist artists, Huis Marseille Museum, Amsterdam 2014
Power, Prix Pictet shortlist artists, Aperture Gallery, New York, USA 2014
Songs for Spirit Lake, Robert Rauschenberg Gallery, New York, USA 2013
Liquid Land, Manezh Exhibition Hall, Moscow Art Biennial 2013
Power, Prix Pictet shortlist artists, Saatchi Gallery, London 2012
Power, Prix Pictet shortlist artists, Istanbul Modern Museum 2012
Hearst 8×10 Biennial exhibition, Hearst Gallery, New York, USA 2011
“Openly” – Istanbul Modern Museum, Antrepo 5, Istanbul 2010
Pipe Dreams, Antrepo, Istanbul Biennial, Turkey 2009
“USSR – remix” Dresden Museum of Art, Germany 2009
“Xinaliq Village” National Geographic headquarters, Washington DC, USA 2008
“Xinaliq Village” Egyptian Theater, Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA 2008
“Pipe Dreams” Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy 2007
“Utopia: Documentary Photography in the Caucasus” IFA Gallery, Berlin 2005
National Geographic Magazine, The New Yorker, GEO, Daily Telegraph, Newsweek, TIME, MARE, Le Monde, Marie Claire, L’Uomo Vogue, Courrier International, Monocle, MORE, The Sunday Times, New York Magazine etc.