Пресс-релиз. Декабрь 2010
(скачать PDF версию)

Press-release. October 2010
(click to download PDF version)



Lingua Franca / Франк тили
Central Asia Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale

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

The exhibition of the Central Asia Pavilion, Lingua Franca / Франк тили presents the works of contemporary artists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as well as a video-retrospective of Central Asian avant-garde.

The origin of the term lingua franca is connected to a mixed language, which appeared in the Middle Ages, thanks to trading contacts between Europe and Asia. “Lingua Franca” is the Italian translation of the Arabic term “Frankish language”, as with the beginning of the Crusades, Arabs called all Europeans “Franks”. In Turkic languages of Central Asia this could sound like франк тили (in Kazakh франк тiлi, Kyrgyz франк тили, Uzbek frank tili).

Today the term highlights languages of interethnic communication (for example, English), or – in the broader aspects of semiotics – any sign system serving intercultural communication. International contemporary arts can also be considered similar to these languages. The exhibition of the Central Asia Pavilion analyses various aspects of this problem.

The section Франк тили. Foreign Affairs examines lingua franca from the aspect of dominating / non-native language. Intercultural contact is established through the antithesis, We and They. Under the same title, the process of studying франк тили is fixed, in the plot of Artyom Ernst’s (Uzbekistan) video work. Strange interchange between official visual rhetoric and international plastic language are raised in the work Mutation by Yerbossyn Meldibekov (Kazakhstan). Besides, at the exhibition, direct speech of official Central Asian media will be heard in “Frankish language” addressed to international viewers. The hierarchical-imperial potential of lingua franca appears in the video work Our Friend VaNgog of Adis Seitaliev (Kyrgyzstan), provoking a reflection about the role of someone who does not speak any “common language”.

The section Lingua Franca. Experience of Universal presents the aspect of universal language. As a category of this section, universal strategies of Central Asian avant-garde of 1920-30’s were selected and shown in a video-retrospective. A general avant-garde problem of atomic visual language is reflected in the work of Natalia Andrianova (Kyrgyzstan), Galim Madanov and Zauresh Terekbay (Kazakshstan) as well as of Aleksey Rumyantsev and Alla Rumyantseva (Tajikistan). The category, “Mixed language” is typical to Central Asia, with its orientalist aura on one side and with its role of the crossroads of civilization on the other. Said Atabekov, an artist from Kazakhstan, working with the problem of overcoming Orientalism/Occidentalism dichotomy is presented with his metissage, “anti-huntington” objects and video. The series of collages World of Kind People by Alexander Nikolaev (Uzbekistan) finds resources of general understanding in the language of naïve and visual folklore, while the video-installation Fish, by the same author, turns to the tool of universal metaphor. The project ABC Representations, initiated by the curatorial, illustrates the general significance of representational images, which are in the case of Central Asia, unfailingly orientalists. Finally, the next category of the section is “L’Innommable” the existence of universality of unformulated order. This part of the exhibition includes works of Marat Raiymkulov (Kyrgyzstan), appearing as an intersection of visual arts, and literary and dramatic expressions.

The Central Asia Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale is located in Palazzo Malipiero, next to the Venice Art Academy, at S. Marco 3199-3201. The exhibition will be open for visitors from June to November 2011.

B. Chukhovich
G. Mamedov
O. Shatalova



Curators: Boris Chukhovich, Georgy Mamedov, Oksana Shatalova
Commissioners: Asel Akmatova, Andris Brinkmanis
Coordinator: Adrienn Hruska
PR manager: Lida Chikalova
Organizer: Art Initiatives
Support: HIVOS

Additional information



The curatorial collective of the Central Asia Pavilion launched the open call for artistic proposals from artists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The curatorial collective of the Central Asia Pavilion 2011, consisting of Oksana Shatalova, Boris Chukhovich and Georgy Mamedov launched the open call for artistic proposals from artists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Lingua Franca / Франк Тили announced as the theme of the CAP 2011 invites artists to get involved in the critical or apologetic, constructive or deconstructive reflection over the international contemporary art scene and its practices metaphorically considered as a language of universal communication.
Proposals including project description, supporting visual materials, implementation budget and artist’s contact information should be submitted to the curatorial collective by October 30, 2010. The list of selected projects will be announced by December 15, 2010.

Oksana Shatalova is an artist, curator and critic from Kazakhstan. Her work Spa Mummification was part of the CAP 2009, as a curator she recently finished a large scale photo art project STILLS. Boris Chukhovich is a Tashkent born curator and art historian now lives in Montreal, where he works as a researcher at Canada Research Chair in Aesthetics and Poetics, University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) and few other research centers. Georgy Mamedov is a Dushanbe born curator and art manager now lives in Moscow where he is enrolled in graduate studies in philosophy of culture. He also curates a long term Central Asia project Artist and/in Community. Shatalova, Chukhovich and Mamedov have been in close professional dialogue since 2008.

The Central Asia Pavilion 2011 will be the fourth edition of CAP in Venice. The first edition Art from Central Asia: a Contemporary Archive curated by Viktor Misiano took place in 2005. Then followed Muzykstan (2007, curator Yulia Sorokina) and Making Interstices (2009, curator Beral Madra).

The Central Asia Pavilion 2011 is commissioned by the non-profit branch of the Bishkek based gallery KuramaArt, who also commissioned the first edition of CAP in 2005. Asel Akmatova, director of the KuramaArt gallery and its branch Art Initiatives is the commissioner of the CAP 2011. Andris Brinkmanis is the co-commissioner of the CAP based in Venice.

The Central Asia Pavilion 2011 is generously supported by Hivos, a Dutch non-governmental organization guided by humanist values. Hivos believes that art and culture perform a vital role in the advancement of democratic and varied societies. That is why Hivos supports independent and innovative initiatives in Africa, Asia and Latin America that serve to inspire people, stimulate creativity and create possibilities for dialogue. Hivos is the traditional supporter of CAP - the two previous editions were also made possible due to its support.


54th Venice Biennale   © 2010-2012 Central Asia Pavilion