fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Saodat Ismailova
La Biennale di Venezia

Your are here

Saodat Ismailova

1981, Uzbekistan

  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    FRI - SAT UNTIL 25/09
    11 AM - 8 PM

    TUE - SUN
    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Arsenale
  • Admission with ticket

Saodat Ismailova’s video works encompass themes of memory, spirituality, immortality, and extinction. Her new three-channel video Chillahona (2022) is filmed in Tashkent, in the underground cells of the same name, structures for practicing isolation and meditation often built next to the tombs of local saints in Central Asia. Today they are used by local people for self-isolation. Built in the shape of an eight-winged dome, the cell consists of three levels, which are mirrored by the three channels of the film. The first screen documents people visiting the chillahona; the second depicts the devotees carrying out their rituals and prayers; while the third traces the visit of a troubled young woman and her moment of self-isolation. Next to the videos hangs a Falak, a traditional Tashkent embroidery representing female cosmology and evoking protection, healing, and fertility, which the artist makes out of white fabric and illuminates with a coloured light. Working between the boundaries of real and imagined spaces, Ismailova draws from the specific cultural identity and history of Central Asia, often through ancestral knowledge and epic folklore stories featuring women as protagonists, to reveal a broader understanding of what it is to be human. 

Liv Cuniberti


Saodat Ismailova, Two Horizons (still), 2017. Two-channel HD video, 16:9, 22 mins. Courtesy the Artist. © Saodat Ismailova

Production credits

37 min, 2022
three channel video installation, embroidery 2,50mx4m

A project by: Saodat Ismailova
Photography: Carlos Casas
Acting: Feruza Ruzieva
Music: Tomoko Sauvage
Producer: Aziza Pulatova
Camera assistant: Andrey Morozov
Video effect: Philippe Cuxac
Animation: Stefano Zeni
Color correction: Yannig Willman
Sound design: Marc Parazon
Uzbek translation: Ibrat Safo

Extracts from Shok by Elyor Ishmuhamedov, Uzbekfilm, 1988
Embroidery sewn by Madina Kasimbaeva
Assistant embroidery development by Muhitdin Risqiev
Production: mapproductions.org
Booklet design: Metodo studio

Special thanks to: Cecilia Alemani, Marta Papini, Alima Boranbaeva, Anvar Safaev, Babur Ismailov, Djamilya Nurkalieva, Meruert Kalieva, MOC HUB, Tashkent
Realized for the 59th International Art Exhibition, 2022, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani, with the support of Tsellinny Center for Contemporary Culture, Kazakhstan

Share this page on

Share on FacebookShare on XShare on LinkedINSend via WhatsApp
Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte