​Art Perspective into Central Asia's Post-Socialist Era

​​photography, video installation,digital MULTIMEDIA


​​Almagul Menlibayeva


   In her latest video and accompanying photographs, Menlibayeva tells the tale of a young fisherman’s daughter who observes the dramatic changes to the landscape of the Aral region and its population through a child’s eyes in a dreamlike mélange of documentary and fantasy. Menlibayeva visually walks the viewer through a vacant landscape and a symbolic dream whereby the girl’s father searches for the remaining sea and new fishing grounds while encountering strange and seductive four-legged female creatures (Centaurs) on his way through the hostile desert. Drawing on the image of the Greek mythological figure of the Centaur, Menlibayeva creates alluring hybrid beings, both sexually charged and bizarre alike. According to the legend, when the ancient Greeks first encountered the nomads of the Transoxianian Steppes on their horses, they initially believed them to be mythological quadruped, part person part animal, fearing their savage and magical powers.
   In Transoxiana Dreams, Menlibayeva, a pictorial sorceress herself, breeds an eccentric storyline and fantastical imagery extracted deeply from her own atavistic repertoire and leading visional through an existing, yet unimaginable landscape in a distant and hypnagogic world.


For full link please contact:

List of the shows of Transoxiana Dreams

2024  Dietmar Seitz: Das Kasachstan-Projekt / Almagul Menlibayeva: Transoxiana Dreams, Freiburg University Library Freiburg, Germany;




2018   INVERTED WORLDS,  group show of the video artists, Neues Museum Staatliches Museum für Künst und Design Nürnberg, Germany;

2018   Post Nomad Mind, Focus Kazakhstan: London,  State Museum Astana, Ministry of Culture Republic of Kazakhstan and

            Program Ruhkani Zhangyru, London, England;

2017   When the Sea Looks Back, A Serpent`s Tale/ the Many Headed Hyndra#2, Nida Art Colony, Lithuania;
2017   When The Sea Looks Back, A Serpent’s Tale/ The Many Headed
Hyndra# 2, Berlin, Germany;
2016   KINO DER KUNST, Nurnberg museum, Nurnberg, Germany;

2016   Hero Mother, Contemporary Art by Post-Communist Women Rethinking Heroism, Momentum, Berlin, Germany;
2014    Transoxiana Dreams, Videozone, Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany;
2014    Update/ Post memory, curated by Susanne Altman at Motorenhalle, Dresden, Germany;
2014    Threads, curated by Mirijam Westen,  Museum of Contemporary Art Arnhem,
2013     MOMA, PS1, EXPO 1: New focuses on some of the most pressing environmental and sociopolitica issues of the day. These concerns are described, examined, and addressed through different modes, including exhibitions of artworks in gallery spaces, educational lectures interactive experiential environments, experiments in communal living, a prototype garden for educational purposes, and a regular program of moving images.
2013    International Film Festival, Kino Der Kunst, Munich, Germany
2013    An Odd for the Wastelands and Gulags, Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria;  
2011   Les rêves perdus d'Aral, Galerie Albert Benamou, Paris, France;
2011   Transoxiana Dreams, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, New York, NY, USA;

Published on May 1, 2013

Interview (in German) with festival director Heinz Peter Schwerfel + impressions of the movies "Between The Waves" by Tejal Shah, "Cabaret Crusades" by Wael Shawky, "5000 Feet is the Best" by Omer Fast and "Transoxiana Dreams" by Almagul Menlibayeva. Shown at the festival "Cinema of Art" from 25.04.2013 to 28.04.2013 at Munich... read more in German:

mit Festival-Leiter Heinz Peter Schwerfel + Ausschnitte der Filme "Between The Waves" von Tejal Shah, "Cabaret Crusades" von Wael Shawky, "5000 Feet is the Best" von Omer Fast und "Transoxiana Dreams" von Almagul Menlibayeva. Gezeigt auf dem Festival "Kino der Kunst" vom 25.04.2013 bis 28.04.2013 in München.

Das ideale Festival für «Kunst+Film»: «Kino der Kunst» ist allein Filmen von bildenden Künstlern gewidmet. Was in Ausstellungen meist nur auf Monitoren läuft, kommt hier auf die große Leinwand -- und zeigt überdeutlich Stärken und Schwächen.

Einen ausführlichen Beitrag finden Sie bei "Kunst+Film": your paragraph here.

Transoxiana Dreams, project about Aral Sea

  The film is a mythological narrative placed and staged in the vast landscape of her native Kazakhstan ravaged by 60 years of Soviet occupation. She leads her audience to the brutally changed region of the Aral Sea where its indigenous people live in the Aralkum, the desert of a once thriving region now entirely devoid of water due to radical Soviet irrigation politics.
The region of Transoxiana (Greek for ‘across the Oxus’) in southwestern Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, once the eastern part of the Hellenistic regime under Alexander the Great and the former homeland of the nomadic tribes of Persia and Turan at the banks of the Oxus River, remained an important trade region along the Northern Silk Road with flourishing civilizations and fertile plains for many centuries. Afflicted by former Soviet policies and abandoned by commercial and cultural interests, today, Transoxiana lies bare and stripped in a surreal state of existence with discarded fishing fleets on dusty terrain, cleaved by metal scavengers while its inhabitants look on as the sea keeps receding into a far and unreachable distance of a seemingly better world.


©Almagul Menlibayeva, 2011
HD video, sound, single channel, 23 minutes
Courtesy American-Eurasian Art Advisors LLC