The story of syncretism and Central Asia’s particularly progressive approach to Islam from the perspective of the flora and not fauna of the region. A shrine of fruits–both real and imagined–including The Mulberry, The Watermelon, The Quince, and The Cucumber, among others–invite visitors to engage with the exhibition intellectually but also sensorially, at Vienna’s Secession, 2012.
The Faculty of Substitution
The Faculty of Substitution, Slavs and Tatars’ third cycle of work, looks at the role of the sacred as a vehicle for concrete social change. Not Moscow Not Mecca examines the potential for religious and ideological syncretism across Central Asia while Khhhhhhh examines the notion of sacred hospitality thru a single, wily phoneme; Beyonsense tells the story of the modern thru the mystical via the unlikely story of a Dia Sufi mosque, Dan Flavin and Velimir Khlebnikov.
The Faculty of Substitution urges for not only intellectual acrobatics but also metaphysical ones: to cultivate the agility, coordination and balance necessary to tell one tale through another, to adopt the inner-most thoughts, experiences, beliefs, and sensations of others as one’s own, in an effort to challenge the very notion of self-awareness and distance, as the shortest length between two points.