Exhibition: November 26 – December 19, 2009
Tue-Fri 1pm-6pm; Sat 11am-2pm
Exhibition participants: Mumtoz Kamolzoda (Tajikistan), Abilsaid Atabekov, Rustam Khalfin, Erbolsyn Meldibekov, Alexandr Ugay (Kazakhstan), Veaceslav Ahunov (Uzbekistan), Shaarbek Amankul, Ulan Djaparov (Kyrgyzstan)
Curated by Stefan Rusu
The exhibition will introduce particular artists’ strategies and contemporary art practices that serve as an effective tool in exploring the contradictions and confusion of contemporary Islamic states/societies several decades after the dissolution of the Soviet Block. We invite you to dive into these artists’ laboratory, in which the reuse of spiritual techniques and practices becomes an effective model in articulating critical attitudes toward inertia, rampant globalization, and neo-liberal anarchy. The artists’ obsession with ecstatic vocabulary comes from a range of nomadic rituals, pre-Islamic and syncretic practices that define their lives and cultural environment. The work urges the viewer to gain an overview of the present situation in Central Asia. Compiled by a guest curator, this visual material offers a retrospective look at the internal processes of the region’s social-political evolution and its underlying cultural background.
The exhibition is also an attempt to question former and ongoing EU policy developments in the context of emerging black markets and the migration of labour forces from the Eastern countries—and also the effects of EU enlargement and politics on neighbouring countries to the East. In this context the artists exploring the values of nomadic culture offer valuable contributions to the current changes in cultural and political climate of their countries of origin. With this action we intend to broaden and deepen the process of cultural exchange between Europe and Central Asia with a selection of artist positions with a special focus on new media and video art from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
About the curator:
Stefan Rusu is an artist and freelance curator based in Chisinau, Moldova. His artist and curatorial practices are linked to strategies of exploration and intervention within unexplored spaces of the Far East, including regions such as Central Asia, Siberia, and Mongolia. Since 2000 he has concentrated on establishing long-term collaborations with artists’ initiatives and cultural operators from those regions, where he investigates the reflection of cultural and political environments in art as well as the artists’ appropriations of social and cultural codes. Rusu is interested in encouraging the interactive potential and productivity of European and Far Eastern cultural contexts. In 2005/2006 he attended the Curatorial Training Program at the De Appel Foundation in Amsterdam where he co-curated Mercury in Retrograde.