The Taste of Others
Apexart, New York (March 2005)
Ahmady launched The Taste of Others at Apexart New York in March 2005 as an on-going educational and curatorial program to connect contemporary artists of Central Asia to artists, art professionals, and institutions in other parts of the world. The program includes a series of traveling exhibitions, lectures, screenings, artist-talks, and publications presented at various private and public galleries, museums and academic university settings throughout the United States and abroad. Recently, Ahmady expended the initiative to also include placement of artworks in private and public collections.
The exhibition at Apexart was an inaugural event of Ahmady's educational program described above. The show incorporated live performances, the first of which was a major installation created by Ahmady entitled Sandalee, - a traditional heating system placed in the center of the room with mattresses on the floor around a large square wooden table. A container of burned hot coal is usually placed underneath the table, which is than covered with fluffy quilted blankets creating a cozy communal environment where families gather together to stay warm.
Ahmady's second performance was entitled: All you CAN eat Keecheerrii Kooroot. Viewers were invited to sit on rugs in traditional Afghan manner instructed to eat with their hands while sharing from a plate with complete strangers. Sandalee is commonly used in Afghanistan as a heating system, and Keecheerrii Kooroot is a famous dish, usually served during the winter.
The show premiered Lida Abdul's first exhibition in New York with an untitled live performance by the artist smearing a large block of ice on to the surface of an Afghan rug.
Artists: Roya Ghiasy, Mariam Ghani, (Afghanistan), Nikhil Chopra (India), Yerbossyn Meldibekov (Kazakhstan), Alexander Nikolaev (Uzbekistan), Jacob Fuglsang Mikklesen (Denmark), Sislej Xhafa (Kosovo) Muratbek Djumaliev & Gulnara Kasmalieva (Kyrgyz Republic).