Uzbeki Jones and the tem­ple of cool

Pasatiempo - - Moving Images - Dou­glas Fair­field For The New Mex­i­can

IThe Desert of For­bid­den Art, doc­u­men­tary, not rated, in English and Rus­sian with sub­ti­tles, The Screen, 4 chiles A col­lec­tion of art­work by lit­tle-known Rus­sian artists is amassed by a failed painter in an ob­scure lo­ca­tion in western Uzbek­istan — hardly the most en­gross­ing in­gre­di­ents for a fea­ture film. But The Desert of For­bid­den Art, a doc­u­men­tary by film­mak­ers Amanda Pope and Tchav­dar Ge­orgiev, rises to the oc­ca­sion.

Com­bine a bit of Hitch­cock­ian in­trigue with the ad­ven­ture of a Spiel­berg movie set in an ex­otic lo­ca­tion, and for 80 min­utes you’re swept up in a real-life art drama far re­moved from the niceties of Canyon Road. The film tells the story of the Nukus mu­seum of Rus­sian avant-garde art in Karakalpak­stan — an au­ton­o­mous re­pub­lic within Uzbek­istan — which in­cludes pieces by some of the most vi­sion­ary Rus­sian artists who worked dur­ing Stalin’s regime. The work was se­cretly col­lected by artist and ar­chae­ol­o­gist Igor Sav­it­sky. Us­ing archival footage and re­cent in­ter­views with artists’ fam­ily mem­bers, the film re­veals how Sav­it­sky sin­gle-hand­edly ac­com­plished the au­da­cious act of sav­ing a legacy of artis­tic achieve­ment from the scrapheap.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.