June 2, 2023


How Art Works

Saodat Ismailova at Eye Filmmuseum

2 min read

Saodat Ismailova’s first main solo institutional exhibition, “18,000 Worlds,” surveys greater than a decade of movies, sculptures, and analysis work. Carrying throughout the artist’s mystical and visually dense observe are stylistic components together with the incorporation of grainy archival footage, written and spoken interpretations of goals, and the filming of conventional rituals and weather-worn landscapes.

The primary movie on show, Zukhra, 2013, provides an unambiguous framing of a mattress in a barren room. The very gradual rising and falling of sunshine reveals the mattress as both empty or with a feminine determine mendacity nonetheless upon it. The soundtrack includes a girl’s voice recounting the legend of Zukhra—a younger girl who would turn into the planet Venus—in addition to archival recordings of the primary president of Uzbekistan. The shamanistic tinges of the work overlay with the wealthy historical past of the area, in addition to the significance that ladies play, and have performed, within the perpetuation of those myths and rituals.

Peeking out from beneath the display screen on this set up is a standard Uzbek rug, draped over a faint mild supply to echo the topography of the Hazrat Sulton Mountains. By embellishing craft with extra modern applied sciences like neon and projection, Ismailova provides provisional monuments, treatises that underscore the waning of a particular cultural existence whereas additionally enshrining its presence.

The newest work within the exhibition, 18,000 Worlds, 2022–23, attracts on the artist’s perception that we solely reside in one among myriad planes of existence. By delving into her personal private archives in addition to these of the Eye Filmmuseum, Ismailova reveals to us a sure wealth. But with this abundance, there additionally comes a pointed perception on how issues fade into historical past.

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