March 29, 2021 - Republic of Uzbekistan at the Venice Biennial - 17th International Architecture Exhibition—Venice Biennale: Mahalla: Urban Rural Living
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March 29, 2021
March 29, 2021

Republic of Uzbekistan at the Venice Biennial

Mahalla: Urban Rural Living, 2021. Courtesy of Christ & Gantenbein.

17th International Architecture Exhibition—Venice Biennale
Mahalla: Urban Rural Living
May 22–November 21, 2021

mahallavenice.uz
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The Republic of Uzbekistan is pleased to announce its first participation at the International Architecture Exhibition—Venice Biennale with the exhibition Mahalla: Urban Rural Living.

The exhibition is commissioned by the Art and Culture Development Foundation under 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 founding partners of Christ & Gantenbein
 
Mahalla: Urban Rural Living will address the theme of the Architecture Biennale 2021 “How will we live together?” by researching an important aspect of the Uzbek cultural heritage: the mahalla. With their architectural structure occurring mainly as a genuinely rural space embedded within an urban context, mahallas represent an ancient and contemporary form of "living together" taking on specific meanings of cultural centers and self-government bodies. Due to economic pressure and changing habits, they are slowly being replaced by new forms of housing.
 
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. The ETH Zurich team closely collaborated with local advisors and students: a crucial part of the research took place in Tashkent, with the CCA Lab—a cross-disciplinary, experimental laboratory of the Center for Contemporary Art in Tashkent for young and emerging artists and architects—and local academics who have dedicated many years to study the architectural and social formation of mahallas, such as professors Abdumannop Ziyayev, Shukur Askarov, Mavlyuda Yusupova, Boris Chukhovich and others.

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

The exhibition will be completed by an app to experience the house structure suggested by the soundscapes and a catalog. Additional content will be provided in a special edition published by Humboldt Books, a carefully designed folder that features a series of prints by Bas Princen and a record by Carlos Casas


For press inquiries please contact: MAY, Communication & Events, Claudia Malfitano, claudia [​at​] mayvenice.com

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