Red Cross, 2011
From the series Way to Rome
Said Atabekov was born in 1965 in Bes-Terek, Uzbekistan. He lives and works in Shymkent, Kazakhstan. A founding member of the Kyzyl Traktor (“Red Tractor”) group, one of the first collectives of avant-garde artists born during Perestroika, he is developing a committed oeuvre which, although it is burgeoning in the post-Soviet era, never ceases to question the political heritage of the Central Asian republics. In his photos and videos, the artist confronts traditional symbols and representations with the geopolitical history of a territory which, having barely emerged from the Soviet era, finds itself in the grip of accelerated globalization. The series Wolves of the Steppes as well as the series entitled Genghis Khan’s Clothing exude a form of absurdity (the former depicting equestrian jousting with devious codes, the latter depicting traditional clothing on an excessive scale) that reflects the reality of a society in need of reference points.
His work has been notably highlighted in the following monographic exhibitions: 66 Lbs. Andakulova gallery, Dubai, UAE (2017), Wolves of The Steppes, Esentai Gallery, Almaty, Kakazkhstan (2016), Wolves of the Steppes, Artwin Gallery, Moscow (2015) and Said Atabekov: The Dream of Genghis Khan, Laura Bulian Gallery, Milan (2011).