Video artist and filmmaker Saodat Ismailova participate in Documenta Fifteen 2022, presenting a work on the figure of the chilltan, a shapeshifter in Asian culture.
The word is derived from Persian and literally means “40 bodies, gender-neutral beings”, a theme explored by Saodat since her debut film 40 Days of Silence (2014). At Documenta 2022, she presents a labyrinthine work that takes place in a sequence of interconnected rooms in the basement of the Fridericianum Palace in Kassel, combining film, performance and environment. In an adjacent space, the works of 18 artists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, members of the DAVRA collective, are concurrently exhibited showcasing visual works, sculptures, crafts and traditional works, music, films, and texts of shamanic supplications that invite the visitor to discover Asian culture. For Ismailova, Metodo Studio curated the publication “Chilltan Shapeshifting Eternal Spirits from Central Asia”, which compiles and presents the DAVRA exhibited works.