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Uzbekistan Pavilion
Biennale Architettura 2021

Uzbekistan Pavilion, Biennale Architettura 2021

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Venice, Italy; January – December 2021


The Republic of Uzbekistan participates for the first time in the Venice Biennale with the project “Mahalla: Urban Rural Living” commissioned by the Art and Culture Development Foundation of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan and curated by Emanuel Christ and Christoph Gantenbein, professors of architecture and design at ETH Zurich and founders of Christ & Gantenbein.

“Mahalla: Urban Rural Living” addresses the theme of the Biennale Architettura 2021 “How will we live together?” by researching an important aspect of the Uzbek cultural heritage: the mahalla.

The starting point for the project is the research and documentation of this cultural heritage led by professors of architecture and design at ETH Zurich Emanuel Christ and Christoph Gantenbein, together with Adjunct Curator and Head of Research Victoria Easton, with the participation of the CCA Lab and professors Abdumannop Ziyayev, Shukur Askarov, Mavlyuda Yusupova, and Boris Chukhovich.

Drawing on this research, the exhibition offers a scientific investigation but also an artistic statement expressed through three different types of appropriation in a 1:1 scale: a model of a mahalla house occupying the whole space of the Quarta Tesa, Tese Cinquecentesche in the Arsenale; an invisible appropriation of the space with sounds from the mahallas transmitted through ambisonic technology recorded by Spanish film-maker Carlos Casas; and extracts of mahalla houses as fragments of spaces represented by photographs by Dutch photographer Bas Princen.

Mahalla: Urban Rural Living, 2021, Courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein
Emanuel Christ & Christoph Gantenbein, Studio Christ & Gantenbein, ETH Zurich Curators Image by Gabriel Hill
BasPrincen © Dorothea Tuch
CarlosCasas © So Hirai
Mahalla: Urban Rural Living Courtesy Christ & Gantenbein
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