Lingua Franca/Франк тили | Central Asia at the 54th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia | Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan

Lingua Franca/Франк тили

Pavilion Opening 2ndof June, 2011, 15:00

Venue: Palazzo Malipiero, San Marco 3199 – 3201

Artists: Natalia Andrianova, Said Atabekov, Artyom Ernst, Galim Madanov and Zauresh Terekbay, Yerbossyn Meldibekov, Alexander Nikolaev, Marat Raiymkulov, Aleksey Rumyantsev and Alla Rumyantseva, Adis Seitaliev

Curators: Boris Chukhovich, Georgy Mamedov, Oksana Shatalova

Commissioners: Asel Akmatova, Andris Brinkmanis

The exhibit of the Central Asia pavilion Lingua Franca/Франк Тили presenting works of elevenartists from four countries of the region is a comprehensive study of contemporary artistic practices as a kind of lingua franca – language of global communication. The exhibit’s curators propose two approaches deconstructing one another. The first one inspired and motivated by the practices of theearly 20th century avant-garde that viewed creation of universal means of communication amongst itsmajor aspirations, presents art works and projects as individual artistic strategies to convert the localissues and contexts into universally comprehensive visual language. These approaches, presented in the exhibit’s major section, Lingua Franca. Experiences of Universal, involve atomization andmiscegenation, language of metaphors and archetypes, tracing back to avant-garde, as well as a strategy that appeals to the universality of unformulated order, which was marked in the exhibit asl’innommable. Lingua franca inspires the metaphor of overall language, but historically and in contemporary practice it remains the language of Franks (франк тили, if translated into Turkic languages of Central Asia), foreigners, others, aliens. This aspect of arts, taken as a model for universal communication, is explored in another section of the exhibition – Франк тили. Foreign Affairs.

Projects that built up thispart of the exhibit reveal unobvious or sometimes just unnoticed expressions of power, hegemony anddomination that run through languages, arts, media and situations that claim to be universal andcomprehensive.

Special Events

The Desert of Forbidden ArtScreening of the film and Q&A with the authors, Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev 1stof June, 2011, 18:30 Venue: Auditorium Santa Margherita, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Dorsoduro 3246 – 30123 Special event of the Central Asia Pavilion in 2011 is a presentation of the new documentary by LAbased cinematographers Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev The Desert of Forbidden Art(2010). This events is a result of cooperation between Central Asia Pavilion, authors of the film and departments of Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia – CSAR (Center for Russian Studies) and Ca Foscari Cinema. The Desert of Forbidden Art features Nukus Museum of Fine Arts in Karakalpak Republic ofUzbekistan, which is a unique collection of Russian and Central Asian avant-garde art, founded by outstading enthusiast Igor Savitsky. He pretends to buy state-approved art but instead daringly rescues 40,000 forbidden fellow artist’s works and creates a museum in the desert of Uzbekistan, far from the watchful eyes of the KGB. Though a penniless artist himself, he cajoles the cash to pay for the art from the same authorities who are banning it. Savitsky amasses an eclectic mix of Russian Avant-Garde art. But his greatest discovery is an unknown school of artists who settle in Central Asiaafter the Russian Revolution of 1917. Ben Kingsley, Sally Field and Ed Asner voice the diaries and letters of Savitsky and the artists. Intercut with recollections of the artists’ children and rare archival footage, the film takes us on a dramaticjourney of sacrifice for the sake of creative freedom.

Discussion 4thof June, 2011, 14:00

Venue: Central Asia Pavilion, Palazzo Malipiero, San Marco 3199 – 3201

The etymology of the term Lingua Franca derives from the name of the historical, mixed language, which developed through trade contacts between Europe, North Africa and Asia. Lingua Franca is anItalian translation of the Arabic expression ‘Frankish language’, because starting with the crusades the Arabs called all Europeans ‘Franks’. Today this term defines languages of multiethnic communication, or in a broader sense – any semiotic system serving the function of multinational or multicultural communication. Contemporary art might also be considered as such a contact language, whose universal ambitions have been proven by multiple international forums. Is the communicative potential of art universal? How does local transform into global? Does the language of art distinguish between native speakers and novice, teachers and learners? These and other aspects of ‘art as a language of intercultural communication’ are explored in the exhibition project of the Central Asia Pavilion and are brought for open dicsussion with international artists, curators and researches in this special event.

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