CONTEMPORARY CENTRAL ASIAN ART
Artworks from Central Asian artists hailing from nations that were formerly Soviet republics, including Kazahkstan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, are on display in an inaugural event launching the new space of Fondazione 107, in Turin, Italy.
The exhibition, titled East of Nowhere: Contemporary Art from post-Soviet Central Asia will feature over 100 works of 32 artists and groups from a region that has been a hotbed of cultural and political upheaval, and has become extraordinarily relevant to the fate of other nations, both economically and politically, within modern times. Regarding the choice to exhibit the Central Asian collection for Fondazione 107’s first event, Federico Piccari, president of Fondazione 107 and a practicing artist, explains:
“This exhibition is part of our cultural program, which is focused on creating a practical synergy between contemporary art and industry. With this inaugural event we begin our ongoing commitment to promote artistic initiatives in an open and actively evolving context, linking Turin’s dynamic cultural setting with other creative and multicultural realities. Our collection of Central Asian artwork is among the best available from this region and provides an exciting backdrop for our future role within the international art scene”.
Curated by Enrico Mascelloni, Valeria Ibraeva, and Rosa Maria Falvo, in collaboration with Federico Piccari, the show depicts pieces by artists both young and old, and focuses on the transformational experiences of social struggle, addressing difficult topics including political boundaries, cultural identity, and personal reorientation within a collapsed society. The works are especially meaningful because they indicate Central Asia’s response to the turmoil in its recent history is to reinvent itself within the context of its ancient roots, regressing to pre-Soviet and even pre-Islamic cultures. Co-curator Rosa Marie Falvo says:
“Here the ‘journey’ is not just a metaphor for the interchange of cultures, it becomes the very context of creativity itself. Images as distinct as Rahraw Omarzad’s shrouded Afghan female faces, whose stares declare the heroic silence of personal expression; Davaa Dorjderem’s maternal Mongolian maidens choreographed in tranquil swan-like poses; Georgy Tryakin-Bukharov’s improvised Kazakh ‘piglets’, outsized in life and association with a menacing bureaucratic ‘wolf’, not only speak of conventions and aspirations from within their country, society and culture, but go beyond to show the multifaceted conditions of ‘Central Asian’ contemporary life. Instead of artists thinking of something new to say, we see the juxtaposition of new opportunities to say what they have not been able to say until recently. This kind of soul searching is by definition fresh and defiant; less within a common philosophy, goal or experience and more like an integral part of an ancient Greek chorus commenting on the contemporary drama.”
Sheenkai Alam Stanikazai
Talgat Karim Asyrankulov
The show runs from May 28 through September 25, 2009 in Turin, Italy. View full Press Release.
-contributed by Erin Wooters