Uzbekistan Pavilion, 59th International Art Exhibition. La Biennale di Venezia
Dixit Algorizmi: Garden of Knowledge by Studio Space Caviar (Joseph Grima, Camilo Oliveira)
April 23 – November 27, 2022
The Art and Culture Development Foundation (ACDF) of the Republic of Uzbekistan is pleased to announce the country’s first participation in the Biennale Arte in Venice. Debuting at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, ACDF will present Dixit Algorizmi – The Garden of Knowledge, curated and designed by the architectural and research studio Space Caviar (Joseph Grima, Camilo Oliveira, Sofia Pia Belenky, Francesco Lupia) and Sheida Ghomashchi.
The Pavilion of Uzbekistan at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia will present a reflection on the seminal work of Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwārizmī, a scientist and polymath born and raised in the city of Khiva (present-day Uzbekistan). Dixit Algorizmi – The Garden of Knowledge sets out to question the origin myths and narratives surrounding modern technologies, using the lens of contemporary artistic practices to explore their forgotten roots and overlooked resonances with distant places, times, and cultures. The pavilion engages divergent interpretations of technology as a medium, acknowledging the depth and complexity of its history to be explored through an extensive public program.
“This is the second year we are participating at La Biennale di Venezia, and after a successful opening last year, we are coming back with new inspiring ideas and challenges to the world of contemporary art. We are proud that this year we can present our project through the legacy of the worldwide known figure of Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, whose House of Wisdom served as a platform for crucial scientific discoveries, and became the core of all subsequent works in the world of contemporary science. We are grateful to our curators, who could reinterpret the values of the great scholar through the prism of art and approach the questions that are so relevant today.” Saida Mirziyoyeva, Deputy Chairwoman of the Council of the Art and Culture Development Foundation of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
“Al-Khwarizmi’s work and heritage are a brilliant illustration of a complex and multilinear process that is a history of ideas. He is one of the most prominent scholars in the history of humankind, famous during his lifetime and legendary after his death, and yet we do not know much about him. We are very pleased that the theme chosen by the curator Cecilia Alemani correlates with the ideas and the current missionsof the Foundation in the contemporary arts, as we aim to promote an interdisciplinary approach in every aspect of our work. The exhibition will be accompanied by very deep academic and conceptual activities that will continue at the pavilion throughout the whole period of the Biennale.
This year we invite great minds of the contemporary art world to join us in this artificial garden, the cultural hub inspired by the House of Wisdom of Al Khwarizmi and to be the part of our public program that will bring together important figures of the global contemporary art world and emerging artists and curators from Uzbekistan. The Uzbekistan Pavilion will host a series of panel talks, performances, and even an Uzbek traditional poetic duel. Our public program will provide a nurturing ground for Uzbek and global artists and curators, promote dialogue, and pave the way for future collaborations“. Gayane Umerova, Executive Director of the Art and Culture Development Foundation of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
“Our intention is for the pavilion of the Republic of Uzbekistan to represent a departure from the classical paradigm of participation in the International Art Exhibition, according to which the pavilion is understood primarily as a container. Inspired by the environment within which al-Khwārizmī himself operated, we aim for the pavilion to become a space of the production of perception and the exchange of ideas – a ‘garden of knowledge,’ so to speak, in which heterogeneous voices, from within and outside the field of artistic production, can converge and overlap.
We conceive of this space as a place of meditation but also of composition, in which it is possible to question the greater order of things, and to consider the trajectory of the histories of art, science, technology, philosophy, and innovation from new perspectives. Throughout the course of the seven months of the Art Biennale, artists, scholars, historians, scientists, writers, and philosophers will be invited to address the possibility of alternative modernities, not so much attempting to replace the current image of modernity as to expand it in recognition of its deep origins – in distant, and unexpected, times and places.”