The exhibition Tashkent Modernism has ended in Milan. Index
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- During the Design Week in Milan, from 17 to 23 April, the Tashkent Modernism. Index exhibition organized by the Art and Culture Development Foundation of Uzbekistan was held. Exhibitions in the building of the Triennale were visited by more than 77,000 people during the week.
During Design Week, an exhibition of Tashkent Modernism. Index was shown at the Triennale museum and exhibition building in Milan. The project is the first public presentation of a unique large-scale study of Tashkent Modernism. XX/XXI, initiated by the Art and Culture Development Foundation of Uzbekistan and the Milanese architectural bureau Grace. International experts in architecture, history, heritage conservation, including Davide Del Curto, Department of Architecture and Urbanism, Politecnico di Milano, curator and theorist Boris Cukhovich and Nicola Russi, Laboratorio Permanente, took part in the preparation of the project.
While specialists from the Department of Architecture and Urbanism of the Polytechnic Institute of Milan and Grace, with the help of Boris Chukhovich, who was personally acquainted with many architects in Tashkent who worked during the period of modernist development and who caused the construction of some buildings, studied the archives and the condition of 20 selected buildings, Laboratorio Permanente focused their efforts on analysis of Tashkent as an urban environment, and based on this analysis, Cultural Trail was created - a series of walking routes designed to unite the buildings of Tashkent modernism on a city scale.
The idea behind the Tashkent Modernism.XX/XXI project was born from a single building conservation effort and expanded into a global study designed to form the basis for the future development of Tashkent’s urban environment. Gayane Umerova, director of the Foundation, recalls that in 2017 it became known about the destruction of the House of Cinema, a landmark building for the city. “Unfortunately, the building could not be saved, but the fact of destruction made us think about the future of other buildings of Tashkent modernism in the conditions of the city’s dynamic development and extensive development. The first building saved from demolition was the former Cultural and Information Center, now under reconstruction, also an important building for Tashkent and the country”
The exhibition Tashkent Modernism.Index, reflecting the main aspects of the Modernism.XX/XXI project, consisted of two parts: photographs by Armin Linke and archival documentation revealing research narratives and strategies for preserving modernist monuments. The publishing support of the project will be built on the same principle - the Foundation plans to publish a colorful album with photographs of buildings with the famous publishing house Rizzoli, and an academic publication based on research materials with the equally famous and important for the scientific community publishing house Lars Müller Publishers.
Members of the project team, leading experts, historians and theorists of modern architecture, as well as invited guests participated in the events of the public program of the exhibition. An important part of this program was a public speech with the participation of Gayane Umerova, Executive Director of the Foundation for the Development of Culture and Art of Uzbekistan, Rem Koolhaas, winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, architectural theorist and leading specialist in modernist architecture, Jean-Louis Cohen, architectural historian, professor, specialist in modern architecture.
“We live in an economic system designed to erase the memory of modernism. We (modern society) cannot tolerate architecture, which could be an antidote to inequality. The exhibition shows the process of internal contradictions of modernism, the exhibition shows that modernism can be reinvented and expanded in a very creative way,” Rem Koolhaas commented on the project and the exhibition.
Jean-Louis Cohen, now working for the Modernist Heritage Preservation Plan of Casablanca, Morocco, speaking about strategies for preserving modernism, addressed the Tashkent residential building "Pearl", also called the "vertical mahalla", noting: "We say that we want to restore the original and get rid of from all the transformations created by the people who inhabit it, or do we believe that these transformations have historical value? Is this preservation of heritage the preservation of the materiality of buildings, in their original form, or is it the preservation of an appropriation process? When you look at the exhibition, you see impressive evidence that a new conservation paradigm is being developed, where exactly this kind of transformation is already part of the intended conservation.”
The next stage in the development of the Tashkent Modernism.XX/XXI project will be a conference with the participation of members of the research team and major invited experts and a presentation of the Cultural Trail routes, which will be held in Tashkent in the fall of 2023.