photography, video installation,digital art

Almagul  Menlibayeva

Performance Eternal Bride by Almagul Menlibayeva in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 2002.


Проект Вечная Невеста родился после визита моей подруги, она грустно вздохнула: «Я хочу продать свое свадебное платье, как жалко что я его не могу одеть второй раз..». В солидарность с ней, не задумываясь, я выкупила это платье и решила одеть его еще и еще раз.

  Процесс переживания себя в перформансе стал переосмыслением условностей и глубокого табуирования меня как части того общества, которое меня формировало.    Мне было не легко, я волновалась... Какой-то прохожий крикнул мне вслед: «Самоубийца!». На все проекции участников я соглашалась, формируя характер места в котором я живу.

 В конце дня перформанса наконец-то появился герой у Вечной Невесты, но счастливый случай подарил его блаженным бездомным, побирающимся у Зеленого Базара на улице Шелковый Путь на Алмате 2.
  В тот вечер после перформанса я была уже другой.
  Этот опыт дал мне образ Пери,  как нового инструмента в руках у художника. Я поняла, что женский образ волшебной Пери в тюрских сказках с усилением Авраамических верований стал негативным в оценке Тенгрианского и Шаманского фольклера. Пери стали толковаться злыми и опасными для людей. Сила женщины умалялась. Ее поэтическая психомагия осуждалась. Вместе с тем общество все больше боялось смерти и собственной конечности и создавало невозможные правила, в надежде спасти себя.

  Пример похожий через временной анализ до периода аврамиических времен одной древней тюркской легенды об Музыканте Шамане Коркыт Ата, он стал бессмертным через силу искусства музыки на инструменте Кобыз, но в период  усиления аврамиических верований в Центральной Азии и Сибири,  Шаман с Кобызом играя умирает от укуса змеи. В этом контексте художник рассматривает формирование мифологии как идеологии. Она хрупка и подвижна между рассказчиком и зрителем.

Аlmagul Menlibayeva© 

Almagul Menlibayeva
Eternal Bride, 2002 (excerpt)
Digital video
Single channel
Sound artist G. Popov (OMFO)
11:22 min

Courtesy American Eurasian Art Advisors LLC.

Almagul Menlibayeva
Apa, 2003
Digital video
Single channel
Sound artist G. Popov (OMFO)
4:37min

Courtesy American Eurasian Art Advisors LLC.

for full preview video links of the video works please contact: almagul2@gmail.com

In the film Kissing Totems, a series of surrealist actions and unlikely encounters take place on the territory of a deserted factory from the Soviet era. This industrial ruin of the communist past becomes a stage for birds, totems, andperiswho are inscribed in a shifting dream-narrative. Invoking confounding feelings of unease and curiosity, the artist lets us see the film through a little girl’s eyes, who observes the uncanny events with a contemplative detachment. As she traverses symbols from the communist past — cast by the camera from the factory’s industrial materialism — she encounters mythological beings from her country’s ancestral tales. Surprisingly enough, peris and totems seem to perfectly cohabit with the constructivist ironwork of the place, while the girl appears very much at ease with both symbolic systems. Through the fantasized gaze of the girl, the post-communist "non-lieu" in the Kazakh steppe becomes but another totemic myth, which is being appropriated by the newly revived beliefs and ideologies.

Deeply connected with her native Central Asia, Almagul Menlibayeva’s work attempts to test the permeability of contemporary art to some traditional practices, ideas, and imagery. Often described as punk-shamanism, Menlibayeva’s videos are embedded in theatricality that leads them through a complex set of references — from tribal symbolism to images of the communist industrial past.

Аlmagul Menlibayeva© 

 Перформанс Апа  продолжает диалог между индивидуальным и  сакральным архаичным. Опыт символа Белого (Ак) и полной свободы в видео перформансе Апа. Раннее развитие взяло начало в живописной практике раннего периода в картине Белое Выходит Замуж  (1992, 81х112 см). Это был период начала 90-х довольно тесного взаимодействия с молодой казахстанской андеграундной группой Зеленый Треугольник. Второе возвращение к этой теме было в первом перформансе и фильме Вечная Невеста, 2002, Аlmagul Menlibayeva©

Almagul Menlibayeva
Milk for Lambs, 2010, (excerpt)
High definition video
Single channel,
12:10

Sound artist G. Popov (OMFO)
Courtesy American Eurasian Art Advisors LLC.


“When I look at the Steppe, it reminds me of my body, dry and in some places hairy...When I look at the round yurts and tables, they remind me of my breasts.” 
(lyrics, Milk for Lambs, Menlibayeva).


The people of the Kazakhstan steppe live suspended between modern times and their local traditions. Almagul Menlibayeva accompanies the Kazakhstanis during the festivities in honor of Tengri, the god of heaven, and his wife Umai, the goddess of fertile ground. With alternating pictures in black and white and in color, of the past and of the present, Menlibayeva tells us about the rituals that accompany the festivities and that illustrate the eternal cycle of nature - birth, life, and death. At the forefront of the image are the women who seem to coax fertility from the barren steppe by wearing colorful dresses, laying on rich meals and using their female bodily attributes in order to feed their children and their men.
Menlibayeva, a representative of post-Soviet contemporary art in Central Asia, re-discovers in her pictures and performances the customs and traditions of her native country. At the center of attention of her work are the Kazakhstani women and their identity. Until recently, Central Asia was predominantly communist and the ideal of the strong and disciplined female worker was used by communist politics to exploit women. In line with the rest of society, since the end of communism, the image of women has toо 
undergone a transformation. In her pictures, Menlibayeva re-tells the search for a personal path through tradition and the modern world.

Almagul Menlibayeva

SteppenBaroque, 2002, (excerpt)

Video, 9 min

Sound artist G.Popov (OMFO)

Courtesy American Eurasian Art Advisors LLC.

Almagul Menlibyaeva©

Performance by Saltanat Tashimova and Sayan Tezekbayeva

THE PAGE  UNDER THE CONSTRUCTION

Filmography


Eternal Bride, 2002, digital video, Sound OMFO, Single channel, 11:22 min., Production Kazakhstan, Courtesy American-Eurasian Art Advisors LLC

Apa, 2003digital video, Sound OMFO, Single channel, 4:37 min., Production Kazakhstan, Courtesy American-Eurasian Art Advisors LLC

Steppen Baroque, 2003, Digital video, Sound OMFO,  Single channel, 11 min., Production Kazakhstan, Courtesy American-Eurasian Art Advisors LLC

Jihad, 2004, Digital video, Sound OMFO, Single channel, 4:52 min. Country of Production: Kazakhstan, Courtesy American-Eurasian Art Advisors LLC

I will never forget this, 2005, Digital video, Sound OMFO, Single channel,06:16 min., Production Kazakhstan, Courtesy American-Eurasian Art Advisors LLC

Appleblossom,2006, Digital video, Sound OMFO Single channel, 07:30 min., Production Kazakhstan, Courtesy American-Eurasian Art Advisors LLC

As the Oil Burns, 2007, Digital video, Sound OMFO, Single channel, 12:26 min., Production Kazakhstan, Courtesy American-Eurasian Art Advisors LLC

Headcharge, 2007, Digital video, Sound OMFO, Single channel, 12:22 min., Production: Kazakhstan, Courtesy American-Eurasian Art Advisors LLC

Kurban, 2009, HD video, Sound OMFO, Three channel, 11:35 min., Production Kazakhstan, Courtesy American-Eurasian Art Advisors LLC

Exodus, 2009, HD video, Single channel, 11: 21min., Country of Production: Kazakhstan, Courtesy American-Eurasian Art Advisors LLC

Queens, 2009, HD video, Sound OMFO, Single channel, 17 min., Country of Production: USA, Courtesy American-Eurasian Art Advisors LLC

Butterflies of Aisha Bibi, 2010,HD video, Sound OMFO, Single channel, 10 min., Production Kazakhstan, Courtesy American-Eurasian Art Advisors LLC

Milk for Lambs, 2010, HD video, Sound OMFO, Single channel, 11 minutes, Production Kazakhstan, Courtesy American-Eurasian Art Advisors LLC
Ride the Caspian, 2011, HD video, Sound OMFO, Double channel, surround sound, 11:46 min., in collaboration with Bahar Behbahani

Transoxiana Dreams, 2011, High define. video, Sound OMFO, Single channel, 23 min.,Production Kazakhstan, Courtesy American-Eurasian Art Advisors LLC

Kurchatov 22, 2012, HD video,Sound OMFO, Five channel video installation with surround sound, 29 min.,Kazakhstan, Courtesy American-Eurasian Art Advisors LLC


Almagul Menlibayeva
Kissing Totems, 2008 (excerpt)
High definition video
Double channel video installation
9 minutes
Sound artist G.Popov (OMFO)

Courtesy American Eurasian Art Advisors LLC.

CONTEMPORARY FINE ART CENTRAL ASIA / KAZAKHSTAN​​

American-Eurasian art advisors Llc.

Almagul Menlibayeva
Exodus, 2009, (excerpt)
High definition video
Single channel;

Sound artist G. Popov (OMFO)

Courtesy AEAALLC.

In the film Exodus the artist Almagul Menlibyaeva returns to the Steppes of her native Kazakhstan, where she conceives, stages and films mythological narratives, alluring her audience to partake in this visual journey.

Exodus directs the viewer into present-day Kazakhstan, where an equally strange and powerful tale unravels. While local men and women are in the process of packing up their Yurtas (nomadic tents) with the obvious intention to move on, a young girl watches, captivated and immobile, subsequently appearing to be left behind – synonymously invoking the experience of global uprooting. As an interlude and a visual bow to Kurban, two young women thrash their hair, symbolically morphing into birdlike creatures flapping their wings.

Menlibayeva transmutes these mythological and historical accounts by assigning the traditionally
male dominated roles to her women and their various engagements as Goddess/Priestess/Peri.