Staff Picks

Saodat Ismailova

Saodat Ismailova (b. in Tashkent) is a filmmaker and artist who came of age in the post-Soviet era and has established an artistic life between Paris and Tashkent while remaining deeply engaged with her native region as a source of creative inspiration. After graduating from Tashkent State Art Institute she was granted a residency at Benetton’s Fabrica research and communication center in Italy. There she directed Aral: Fishing in an Invisible Sea, which won Best Documentary at the 2004 Turin Film Festival. In 2005 she was awarded a place in the  DAAD - Artist in Residency program in Berlin, where she developed her debut award-winning feature film 40 Days of Silence, which premiered at Forum Exapnded, Berlin International Film Festival, in 2014. She participated in the 2013 Venice Biennale as part of the Central Asian Pavilion with her video installation Zukhra. In 2017 Ismailova was an artist in residence in OCA (Office of Contemporary Art, Norway) where she developed her short film The Haunted. In 2018 she graduated from Le Fresnoy, France’s National Studio of Contemporary Arts, where she developed Stains of Oxus and Two Horizons. In 2018 her multimedia performance Qyrq Qyz (Forty Girls), produced by the Aga Khan Music Initiative, was presented at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) in New York and at Musée de quai Branly in Paris. Among her personal exhibitions are The Haunted in Tromso Kunesteforenin, Norway (2017); What was my name? in Aspan Gallery, Almaty (2021); and Q’org’on Chirog’ at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Tashkent (2019), where, in 2020 she created the educational program CCA Lab. In 2021 she established the research group Davra, dedicated to studying, documenting, and disseminating Central Asian culture and knowledge. Ismailova’s work will be presented in documenta fifteen, 2022. Her works are in the collections of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum and Centre Pompidou, in Paris.

Film, Feminism
Video Art, Caucasus & Central Asia, Memory, History, Animals
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