Spotlight: Uzbekistan Pavilion goes beyond art to activate connection and learning at the Venice Biennale
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What do you want to know: The Foundation for the Development of Art and Culture (ACDF) of the Republic of Uzbekistan presents “Says Algorizmi—The garden of knowledgeat the National Pavilion of Uzbekistan at the Venice Biennale, which is open until November 27. The architecture and research studio Space Caviar (Joseph Grima, Camilo Oliveira, Sofia Pia Belenky, Francesco Lupia) organized and designed the exhibition with Sheida Ghomashchi, the Pavilion, transforming it into a site of collaboration, exchange and of learning – in fact, a veritable “garden of knowledge”.
The pavilion hosted extensive public programming and featured everything from the salon-style band Brutally Precocious Club, founded by Hans Ulrich Obrist, and various multidisciplinary workshops presented by Panoptic Garden. The inspiration behind “The Garden of Knowledge” was the work of scientist and polymath Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwārizmī, who largely undertook his research at the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, a gathering place for various intellectuals for meet and exchange ideas. The Garden of Knowledge is based on the idea that the House of Wisdom centered on a formal garden as is common in Islamic tradition, and would be where these scientists and scholars would meet.
Why we love it: While many entries to the Venice Biennale focus solely on showcasing artwork, Uzbekistan’s national pavilion instead focused on the opportunity to engage directly with a wide range of artists. , architects, academics, etc., creating a place to meet new people, hear new ideas and exchange knowledge. It is also still possible to discover the Garden of Knowledge later this month, on November 12, when the programming continues with a public meeting organized by Antonio Irre with opening performances and talks. And on November 19, editor Furqat Palvan-Zade of Border magazine will make a presentation on the next issues and will organize a Q&A with the collaborators and partners of the publication. Beyond what the pavilion has and will feature, a central aspect of the effort is the plan to reuse and recycle the physical materials that created the built environment, extending the life and influence of “Dixit Algorizmi – The garden of knowledge”.
According to the curator: “’Dixit Algorizmi—The Garden of Knowledge’ is an ongoing research platform for conversation and performance. Conceived and organized by Space Caviar with Sheida Ghomashchi, it was the national representation of the Republic of Uzbekistan at the Biennial Arte 2022: “The milk of dreams”. The scenography of the pavilion, designed to host gatherings and performances throughout the Biennale, draws on the history of Islamic gardens as places of intellectual production and exchange. In the context of “The Milk of Dreams”, the pavilion, defined as a garden of knowledge, functions as a place to reflect on the stories and layers of meaning embedded in contemporary technologies.
After the last performative event to be held in the pavilion, the Garden of Knowledge will be dismantled and all of its material components will be given to new uses, including the construction of future pavilions and artistic commissions. Materials will also be donated to emerging designers and artists to be reused in their artistic practice. —Joseph Grima
See the interior of the national pavilion of Uzbekistan below.
“Says Algorizmi—The garden of knowledgeis open to the public at the Venice Biennale until November 27, 2022.
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