Sound

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The brick building constructed in the industrial style, in which the first Centre for Modern Art in Uzbekistan will be opened after the renovation, was designed by architect Wilhelm Heinzelmann in 1912. He was the Head of the Construction office in Turkestan krai, and the architect of the Tashkent Real College, the Romanov Palace, the building for the refracting telescope at the Tashkent observatory and other buildings. Before the 1917 Socialist Revolution, it was a diesel power station which operated the city’s first tram line. In 2018, the building, which until then had housed the Tashkent City Electrical Company, was transferred to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Former diesel power plant build in 1912, now the Center for Contemporary Art, Tashkent

QO‘RG‘ON CHIROQ

Exhibition dates:
13 April – 1 June 2019

Organiser:
Arts and Culture Development Foundation under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Opening hours:
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily

Free admission

Download exhibition catalogue

The exhibition displays a collection of video works by artist and filmmaker Saodat Ismailova, which she created in the last five years. The video poem Zukhra was for the first time screened at the 55th Venice Biennale, in the Central Asian pavilion, while the two-channel video Two Horizons was captured near Baikonur, at the grave of the legendary Turkic poet and songwriter Korkyt (9th century) who believed that levitation may help become immortal. The Haunted, a farewell video letter to Turan tigers which had grown extinct in the second half of the 20th century, was made in collaboration with Kamil Norme, a Norwegian composer with American roots who writes music for the unique instrument – the glass harmonica. The three-channel video installation Stains of Oxus tells about the Amu Darya (Oxus) – a watercourse connecting the Pamir Mountains with the Aral Sea, as well as about people sharing their dreams with the water of the ancient river. The project also includes the premiere of Saodat Ismailova’s new work The Immortal Letters dedicated to the Sogdian language. The Sogdian language is currently regarded as extinct (the last written monuments to this language are dated back to the 11th century), but the artist believes a language cannot die since it continues to live in the collective memory and people’s mind on the subconscious level.
To organise the exhibition Qo’rg’on Chiroq, Saodat Ismailova cooperated with Andrea Lissoni, Senior curator of the Tate Modern in London, and the Milan-based architectural bureau GRACE (Ekaterina Golovatyuk and Giacomo Cantoni).

‘The title for the exhibition, Qo’rg’on Chiroq, is an Uzbek phrase where ‘qo’rg’on’ means ‘kurgan’ – a term often associated with antiquity and the mysteries of ancestors, and ‘chiroq’ translates as ‘light’ and, at the same time, also designates a ritual we have inherited from Zoroastrianism. By performing the ‘chiroq’ we light candles and lamps symbolising our relation to our ancestors, our forefathers and foremothers who live on in the collective memory of our people. This symbol of light, this link is very close to me because, on the one hand, I work on the subject of collective memory, on the other hand, I am a film artist and my art is based on light.’

Saodat Ismailova

Artist

‘When I for the first time came to Uzbekistan around ten years ago, I immediately realised how unique and even precious this place is. This country is rooted deep in the past: ancient traditions have merged here with elements of the Russian culture and unique customs practised by peoples that for a thousand years have been inhabiting the boundless desert and steppe. Saodat Ismailova has become a wonderful envoy of this world. Working in Europe she not only retains her national self-identity, but also promotes the development of the region. I recall how I got acquainted with her in the early 2000s. There was a yurt put up in one of the rooms in her flat in Treviso. I was deeply moved by it. I recognised in her a unique artist who felt very deeply music, history, script and other forms of cultural memory, an artist that is constantly in search for new stories and ideas. She uses art’s transformative power to tell nice stories about the wonderful region where she was born and grew.’

Andrea Lissoni

Tate Modern curator

QYRQ QYZ

Performing dates:
16 and 17 April 2019, the performances begin at 6.30 p.m.

Venue:
Alisher Navoi State Academic Grand Theatre

Tickets can be purchased at a ticket office at the Grand Theatre, at distribution offices across the city and via e-portal iTicket.uz

Saodat Ismailova’s performance Qyrq Qyz (Forty Girls) was staged by the international foundation Aga Khan Trust for Culture (as part of the Aga Khan Music Initiative) with the support of the Foundation for the Development of Culture and Arts, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which helped capture the video in the territory of Uzbekistan. The performance created in cooperation with composer Dmitry Yanov-Yanovsky is based on a Karakalpak epic about female warriors protecting their people. The videos for the work were shot in Karakalpakstan and at the Azlarkhon Eshon Masjidi, one of the oldest mosques in Tashkent. The 1.5-hour-long performance is a musical and artistically abstract reconstruction of episodes in the history of the Karakalpak epic. The performance features diverse traditional musical instruments and presents classical Central Asian singing schools, such as tanovar in Uzbekistan, dastan in Karakalpakstan and drawling singing and zhiry (guttural singing) in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

April 13th

Speakers:
Andrea Lissoni - Tate Senior Curator (London);
Saodat Ismailova - video artist, director, author (Paris)
Speakers:
Andrea Lissoni - Tate Senior Curator (London);
Saodat Ismailova - video artist, director, writer (Paris)

Discussion:
20 minutes
Speakers:
Anton Belov – director of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art;
Marchella Lista – curator of Centre Pompidou (Paris);
Khim Ong – deputy director of the Centre for Contemporary Art (Singapore);
Leif Magne Tangen –film producer, curator of Tromsø Kunstforening (Tromso)

Discussion:
20 minutes
Speakers:
Marchella Lista – curator of Centre Pompidou (Paris);
Khim Ong – deputy director of the Centre for Contemporary Art (Singapore);
Leif Magne Tangen –film producer, curator of Tromsø Kunstforening (Tromso)

Discussion:
20 minutes

April 14th

Lecturer:
Ekaterina Golovatyuk - architect, co-founder of the Russian-Italian bureau GRACE (Milan)

Discussion:
20 minutes

April 15th

April 18th

Venue:
Centre of Contemporary Culture

Presenters:
Theodore Levin,
Saodat Ismailova,
Dmitry Yanov Yanovsky,
Fayruz Nishanova

Musicians:
Raushan Orazabaeva,
Khumshagul Bektruganova,
Gumusay Berdikhanova,
Saltanat Ersultan,
Aziza Davronova

Venue: Venue:
Centre of Contemporary Culture

Estimated number of students: 50

Presenter:
Theodore Levin
Fairouz Nishanova
Venue:
Centre of Contemporary Culture

Estimated number of students: 50

Presenter:
Theodore Levin,
Saodat Ismailova

Musicians:
Saltanat Ersultan – qobuz, vocal;
Arailim Omerbekova – dombra, vocal;
Mohabat Tobogonova – temir and yaghach oghuz komuz;
Aziza Davronova – vocal, dutar
Venue:
Centre of Contemporary Culture

Estimated number of students: 50

Age: 5-7

Subject:
Imitation of the animals, wind, river. A game to take a guess which sound represents which animal

Presenter:
Theodore Levin,
Saodat Ismailova

Musicians:
Tokzhan Karatai – qobuz;
Mokhabat Tobogonova – chopo choor, yaghach oghuz komuz, temir oghuz komuz;
Khumshagul Bekturganova – karakalpak dotar;
Aziza Davronova – dutar

April 28th

Lecturer:
Aleksey Ulko – artist, critic, theorist of contemporary art (Tashkent)