Meet the chilltan, shapeshifting mythical beings from Central Asian cultures. Chilltan is also the title of lumbung artists Saodat Ismailova’s contribution to documenta fifteen, to be found in the labyrinthine basement of the Fridericianum. Chilltan can take the form of young or elderly women, animals, such as snakes, birds, or tigers, animate or inanimate parts of nature, and even natural phenomena like wind or clouds. The word chilltan derives from Persian and means “40 bodies” or “40 beings” of no specific gender. Drawing inspiration from these references, Saodat Ismailova’s work combines film, performance, and the environment. In addition to her installation, Saodat Ismailova has invited artists from various central Asian countries, coming together as DAVRA collective. Here, too, the motif of the number 40 is repeated: over 40 days, the artists of DAVRA organized public events within the framework of lumbung program.
Subtitles: English, German