Press Releases

Saodat Ismailova in conversation with Leif Magne Tangen at OCA

Published 2016/08/23

Saodat Ismailova, Abdulaziz (Letters series, 2014). Prints. Courtesy the artist


OCA ISP resident artist Saodat Ismailova, in conversation with Tromsø Kunstforening Director Leif Magne Tangen

Wednesday 31 August 2016, 19:00
Live audio streaming

Office for Contemporary Art Norway
Nedre gate 7, 0551 Oslo I

OCA is pleased to announce a talk with OCA ISP resident artist, Saodat Ismailova, who will be in conversation with Tromsø Kunstforening Director, Leif Magne Tangen on Wednesday, 31 August 2016.

Saodat Ismailova will give an overview of her work as a filmmaker, which deals with a sensory meditation on the realities of womanhood, through the filter of society and the history of representation in her home country, Uzbekistan. The presentation will unravel issues of silence and secrecy coming from 40 Days of Silence (2014), a film in which a young girl’s vow is a search for intergenerational answers of gender, religion, and ritual performances. Zukhra (2013) connects this secrecy to wishes through an oneiric untraditional narration.

Acceptance, transformation and mutation are returning themes in Ismailova’s work as in her on-going project Qyrq qyz (“40 Women”) which looks at the spiritual world, the collective unconscious of a society beyond a given time and obligations of religious and political systems. Ismailova says 'The present is a search for yourself which is hidden in your history (memory)'. She considers films as historical documents which 'cannot lie', 'they bear witness of a specific moment in time independently of their being categorised as "fiction" or "documentary" material'. This search for an historical truth has been part of her recent research on archives of silent Uzbek films from the early 1930s and film journals from the region, which she has been working on more closely during her OCA residency in the Ekely housing complex. How the female body has been represented in the public realm, and how we can think and question active emancipatory forms within society is part of an aesthetic question that Ismailova will open up during her presentation.

Ismailova’s ISP programme at OCA includes travel and research to Tromsø, where she will develop her first solo exhibition in Northern Europe at the Tromsø Kunstforening (TKF), scheduled to open in January 2017.

For more information, please contact OCA’s Communication Manager Tara Hassel.

About Saodat Ismailova
Born in Uzbekistan, Saodat Ismailova studied filmmaking at the Tashkent State Institute of Art. Subsequently she joined the cinema department of Fabrica, Benetton's research centre, in Treviso, Italy. Her first award-winning feature film, 40 Days of Silence, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2014 and has since been presented in more than 30 countries around the world. Ismailova is currently working on directing her next feature-length film, Barzagh. Her video and sound installations have been presented at numerous international exhibitions and festivals, including most recently the 2013 Venice Biennale (Central Asian Pavilion) and 'Lost to the Future', the 2014 Singapore Biennale. Titled 'Celestial Circles', her first solo exhibition was presented at the Kunstsammlungen und Museen Augsburg, Germany in 2015.

Currently Ismailova is a guest artist at Le Fresnoy, National Center of Contemporary Arts, Tourcoing, France, where she realised a three-screen film installation - Stains of Oxus – featuring the Amu Dariya, a major river in Central Asia where she collected the dreams of inhabitants living alongside the river's shores.

About Leif Magne Tangen
Leif Magne Tangen, who grew up in Reine, in the Lofoten archipelago, has worked as a freelance curator, writer and producer with a key focus on experimental films, and he is currently the Director of the Tromsø Kunstforening. He has been artistic director of Fotogalleriet, the Norwegian Foundation for Photography and director of PIEROGI Gallery. In 2006 he established D21 Kunstraum Leipzig where he was artistic director and in 2007 he wrote along with Mark Aerial Waller, Cosmin Costinas, Rosemary Heather, Francis McKee, David Reinfurt, Steve Rushton and Heman Chong, the science fiction novel PHILIP. He is also co-curator of Reihe Experimental film. Tangen, lives between Tromsø and Leipzig, and co-founded vitakuben, a production company for artists working primarily with artists’ films. Vitakuben has produced films by Knut Åsdam, Loretta Fahrenholz, Declan Clarke and Benjamin Naishtat, among others.

OCA ISP – International Studio Programme
International residents (artists, curators and critics) are invited to OCA’s International Studio Programme (ISP) for a period of up to three months. The length of the stay depends on the respective resident’s schedule needs. The resident is provided with a professional studio, an apartment at Ekely (an artists's colony where Edvard Munch built his studio and where he lived and worked until his death in 1944) for their stay in Oslo, and additional research possibilities during their stay. The residency can be used for independent research, work on a project taking place in Norway, teaching purposes or for other activities in relation to Norwegian contemporary culture. OCA’s ISP programme guests are also invited to extend their residency participation into networked activities in the form of public talks, seminars and presentations organised by OCA and/or at the invitation of other institutions throughout Norway.

In 2016 OCA, under the umbrella of the project, 'Thinking at the Edge of the World. Perspectives from the North’, initiated a number of residencies and programmes of readings, performances, lectures and upcoming exhibitions for visiting artists, curators and critics in Northern Norway with the cooperation and support of local institutions.

This event is part of OCA’s continuous programming, Notations. OCA's 'Notations' unfold as a series of programmatic activities – performing, writing, thinking, fragmenting, exhibiting, moving, eating and socialising – that explore the desire for the institution to reflect upon the potential for artistic practice as an alchemical sphere of public action.