1 June–24 November 2013
Preview: 29–31 May 2013
Opening & Breakfast Forum: 30 May 2013, 9–11am
Central Asian Pavilion
San Marco 3079
Curators: Tiago Bom and Ayatgali Tuleubek
Artistic advisor: Susanne M. Winterling
- Vyacheslav Akhunov (b. 1948) from Uzbekistan
- Saodat Ismailova (b. 1981) from Uzbekistan
- Kamilla Kurmanbekova (b. 1986) & Erlan Tuyakov (b. 1985) from Kazakhstan
- Ikuru Kuwajima (b. 1984) from Kazakhstan
- Anton Rodin (b. 1988) & Sergey Chutkov (b. 1984) from Tajikistan
- Aza Shade (b. 1988) from Kyrgyzstan
Commissioner: HIVOS (Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation)
Deputy Commissioner/Implementing Institution: The Academy of Fine Art/Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Dean Vanessa Ohlraun
The Central Asian Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia will present the exhibition WINTER, at the Palazzo Malipiero, featuring artists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Selected through an open call directed at poets, writers, activists and other cultural practitioners, the artistic positions and discursive statements staged in the Pavilion will address questions relevant to Central Asian realities and beyond.
The title and underlying concept of WINTER comes from a poem by 19th-century Kazakh poet and thinker Abay Qunanbayuli, whose reflections on social justice endowed the region with a profound intellectual legacy. In re-contextualizing his poem, the Pavilion’s curators invoke poetic interpretations of reality. Through nuance and metaphor, Qunanbayuli’s poem reveals potential concepts for broader debate, raising questions rather than proposing firm statements.
The states of Central Asia are culturally similar, sharing a common past in their Soviet history. Now, after two decades of independence in the region, there have been substantial changes in social, political and cultural life. WINTER critiques the stagnation of these contexts, characterised by the absence of local spaces for analysis and artistic diversity. Yet, similar states of intellectual inertia can be identified around the world, inviting the universal question: “How can artists, cultural producers and activists react and respond?”
Launched this February and continuing throughout spring in Oslo, the peripatetic parallel programme will continue throughout Central Asia, in collaboration with local institutions in Almaty, Bishkek and Dushanbe, from film screenings in spring, to seminars in autumn 2013. Through a diverse schedule of discussions, seminars and screenings, the programme sets out to find ways of establishing alternative models to foster the development of critical thinking and self-reflection within artistic contexts in Central Asia and across Europe. With the active participation of Central Asian and non-Central Asian contributors, these platforms will stress different aspects of the artistic production characteristic to the region, relevant to local and international audiences.
Breakfast Forum: “Perspectives Beyond Stagnation,” 30 May
During the preview of the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, the Central Asian Pavilion in Venice will host an opening breakfast and discussion on Thursday, 30 May 9–11am titled “Perspectives beyond Stagnation” organised in collaboration with the curators of LIAF 2013 (Lofoten International Art Festival www.liaf.no), Anne Szefer Karlsen, Bassam El Baroni and Eva González-Sancho. Speakers include historian of social and political thought Gopal Balakrishnan (History of Consciousness Department, UCSC) with a talk on “Further Convolutions of Capitalism” and philosopher and writer Aaron Schuster, who will address issues of transgression and constraint. This will be followed by an open discussion and tour of the exhibition with the curators and represented artists of WINTER, Kamilla Kurmanbekova & Erlan Tuyakov, Anton Rodin & Sergey Chutkov, Aza Shade and Saodat Ismailova.