Mahalla Stories at the Uzbekistan Pavilion

Mahalla Stories at the Uzbekistan Pavilion

Uzbekistan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

View of Mahalla: Urban Rural Living, Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice, 2021. Photo: Giorgio De Vecchi, Giulia Di Lenarda/gerdastudio.

July 26, 2021
Mahalla Stories at the Uzbekistan Pavilion
Events and educational programme
August 24–October 31, 2021
Uzbekistan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Quarta Tesa
Arsenale, Castello
30122 Venice Italy
Instagram / Facebook

“Mahalla Stories at the Uzbekistan Pavilion” is a series of events and educational programs created in the context of the Uzbekistan Pavilion at the 17th International Venice Architecture Biennale, titled Mahalla: Urban Rural Living.

The program of events will run from August 24 to 31, and from October 18 to 23, at the Uzbek Pavilion, Quarta Tesa, Arsenale.

“Mahalla Stories at the Uzbekistan Pavilion” will present to the public of the Venice Biennale a series of concerts organized by the sound artist and filmmaker Carlos Casas, and talks organized by the ETH Zurich.

Mahallas represent an ancient and contemporary form of “living together.” The Arabic word “mahalla” has various meanings in Uzbekistan: a traditional neighborhood and a form of organization of community life; a Soviet and a modern institution of power, and a place where the state and society meet at the local level.

The starting point for the project is the research and documentation of this Uzbek 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. Drawing on this research, the exhibition offers a scientific investigation and an artistic statement that aims at a critical reading and a tentative exploration of the topic.

The exhibition provides different types of appropriation expressed in a 1:1 scale: a model of a mahalla house occupying the whole pavilion; an invisible soundscape from the mahallas transmitted through ambisonic technology recorded by Carlos Casas; extracts of mahalla houses represented in photographs by Bas Princen; a tapchan created by the students of the CCA Lab under the guidance of Uzbek artist Saodat Ismailova; a contemporary interpretation of traditional embroideries executed by artisan Madina Kasimabeva and designed by CCA Lab participant Munis Juraeva.

Within this open-ended three-dimensional collage inviting us to consider new possibilities for living together, “Mahalla Stories at the Uzbekistan Pavilion” will give us an insight on Uzbek local music and sound ecology; on how the mahallas have influenced the work of artists; on the process of creation behind the exhibition; and of course architecture. 

The detailed schedule of events and participants will be unveiled closer to the date, and part of the program will be live-streamed on e-flux video.

Access with Biennale ticket.

For more info, click here

For press inquiries please contact:
MAY, Communication & Events, 
Claudia Malfitano, claudia [​at​]
Press release available here.

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Uzbekistan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
July 26, 2021

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