Almaty, in the distant steppe of Central Asia shared by humans and apple orchards.
This emblematic city, the first capital of Kazakhstan; artists here are nourished by the rich and diverse history of nomadic tribes, the numerous ethnic groups, languages and religions of the region. A place that has been through many upheavals in its recent past which gave birth to independence following a brief period of Perestroika and the breakup of the Soviet Union. All quite exceptional circumstances which have given rise to atypical artistic forms, innovative attitudes and actions born of an unceasing quest for identity: that of individuals, of communities but also, more generally, of the entire country and its social and economic status.
The artists bear witness to this evolution and evoke the complexities of the transition brought about by a system that cannot quite exorcise its old demons; but they also reveal a society based on hyper-consumerism and on apparent wealth.
The present exhibition, proposed by Apollonia as part of the e.city – Almaty project and with the active and enthusiastic complicity of the Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCS), reveals all of these quite significant aspects of current creativity in Kazakhstan.
Several generations of artists, inspired by the same spirit of uncompromising story-telling, present a blunt reality sometimes with the aid of legends and often with irony and dark humour – a genuine and captivating world quite unknown elsewhere and revealed here for the first time to the French public through the works displayed in the halls of the MAMCS.
Artists: Saïd Atabekov, Smaïl Bayaliev, Syrlybek Bekbotayev, Bakhyt Bubikanova, Zoya Falkova,
Galim Madanov et Zauresh Terekbay, Yerbossyn Meldibekov, Almagul Menlibayeva, Ekaterina Nikonorova,
Arystanbek Shalbayev, Oksana Shatalova, Georgy Tryakhin-Bukharov, Alexander Ugay, Elena Vorobyeva and
Viktor Vorobyev, ZITABL.
Curators: Dimitri Konstantinidis & Daria Evdokimova (Apollonia) and Estelle Pietrzyk (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Strasbourg).
From 6 December 2014 to 8 March 2015
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Strasbourg (MAMCS)