Yellow Blue Bus, 2023 (inDrive Public Art Object)
medium: Plastic Bags on Polycarbonate (Cellophane Painting)
4.2 x 12 m
The new monumental artwork by Saule Suleimenova, 'Yellow Blue Bus,' is created using the medium of cellophane painting and is entirely made of plastic bags, some of which were donated to the artist by the residents of Almaty. This is not an attempt to overcome the climate crisis – doing so through art alone is impossible. Rather, it is a way to find poetry in plastic bags, to reinvent the aesthetics of a world where trees and birds are no longer the only representatives of 'nature.' It is also painting without painting, where there is no canvas, no brushes, no acrylics or oil used. The work tells the story of the city's matrix, its inhabitants, bus routes, and the love that covers it all. The title of the artwork also hints to the viewer that the artist dedicates it to Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
Paper architecture (inDrive Public Art Object)
1500 x 1500 mm
materials: sheet steel
In the period of the 1980-90s, the artist and architect Saken Narynov created about 20 works of "paper architecture" - small objects made of fragile materials that represent the material world in different ways, decomposing it into simple elements.
An attempt to look into the very essence of matter and understand what the quantum world consists of raises a very important question about the "authenticity" of nature. In this case, the thesis that man destroys the environment begins to seem illusory. After all, the nature we protect can be perceived as a flattened projection of a more complex reality, constructed by our consciousness. But what will be the use of this understanding if we leave no trace of that flat medium through which we comprehend the quantum world?
Coordinate System, 2023 (inDrive Public Art Object)
medium: cast iron, bronze
90 x 90 x 60 cm
Shymkent artist Said Atabekov creates the artwork 'Traces of Angels.' In the steppe, this term referred to the imprints of hooves with horseshoes on wet soil, later baked by the sun. A similar 'freezing' of something ephemeral and transforming it into sculpture in some sense brings a piece of the steppe directly into the city. It is important to note that the work is made of iron and bronze – materials often used for significant monuments that mark the ideological direction of a particular country. In our case, this monument is installed right in the steppe itself; for the horses that gallop across it; for the hoofprints that may not last long but always reappear.
Yelena and Viktor Vorobyev
inDrive Public Art Object
Anthropocene, 2023medium: сolor print on d-bound sheet, Prints (6 photos, 140 x 250 cm)
The artwork consists of a series of photographs of natural landscapes. Specifically for these photos, the artists wrote the word 'Anthropocene' at different times of the year: in winter, it was formed in shapeless accumulations of ice on a lake, and in summer, it was written on the shifting sands of the desert. (This inscription, made with organic paints, disappeared after some time, leaving only the photographs behind.) This action appears both as an artistic and a social act. After all, people have been marking their territory on natural objects for a long time. This playful artwork about very serious matters reminds us that our time on this planet is not eternal and that we are fortunate to live in this short geological moment.
The artists themselves ironically describe their artwork as follows:
"What can be said about a text written in sand or on ice? Only that the wind will blow it away with grains of sand in a couple of minutes after writing, or it will melt along with the ice under the rays of the spring sun.
Here is humankind, Homo Sapiens the irrational, imagining its anthropocentrism in the midst of the boundless universe. But nature is not a resort hotel with all-inclusive services; it is both creator and executor of itself. It doesn't matter whether humans exist within its body or if this parasite with all its civilization has disappeared. Without it, everything somehow existed, neither good nor bad - there were stars and galaxies, volcanoes and geysers. It was noisy and fun, but there was no one to appreciate the party back then...
Now it's a different story - the Holocene is over, the Anthropocene has arrived, and the assessors have come to set the prices for the existence of our primate species. We ate, we drank, we celebrated, and then we counted - and we shed tears.
What can be said for consolation... Dear fellow humans, do not exaggerate your greatness, but do not despair either - 'the traces of our activity will not disappear anywhere, at least for the next few million years,' they write on the internet.
You too will remain a thin, smeared layer in the thick pie of geological epochs.
But who will appreciate its taste when the Anthropocene passes?.."
The Melting Glacier Orchestra, 2013
Technique: motion sensors, speakers, sound
This interactive sound art prompts potential viewers to reflect on how we, as humanity, influence climate change and the environment, particularly the melting of glaciers. The direct involvement of the audience in creating an interactive artistic piece through a game-like situation helps them see that our activities directly affect glaciers, and water may eventually run out.
In the absence of people in the room, there is silence – the glaciers do not melt. However, as soon as someone enters the sensor area and movement occurs, the glaciers begin to melt. The more people there are, the more water flows.
Space Junk, 2023
6 x 6 x 3 mmedium: mirror composite sheet Arabond, metal, space debris
In contrast to conventional representations of space exploration through spectacular discoveries and sublime visions of new extraterrestrial frontiers, space debris suggests a radically different perspective on human engagements with the cosmos. It brings to light various socio-political, economic and ecological arrangements supporting the work of contemporary space industries. Increasing amounts of space junk at the Low Earth Orbit exposes the fragility of space technologies and unsettles geopolitical extractivist dreams of nation-states and NewSpace entrepreneurs.
In Kazakhstan, rocket stages discarded after launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome have particular resonance. The establishment of the Cosmodrome instrumentalized the steppe largely disregarding communities residing in the vicinity of its landlocked infrastructure. Even though today the wreckage is recovered by special brigades, for those living under the flight trajectories of space rockets such debris points to the history of environmental and political marginalisation.
Vargas-Suarez Universal's work reveals the materiality of space debris in a rare proximity as it frames and showcases a wreckage of a Soyuz rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. This sculpture is a unique chance to engage with the materiality of space exploration and reconsider its politics and aesthetics in a country which played a vital role in the history of human spaceflights.
Curatorial text: Makar Tereshin is a social anthropologist and documentary photographer. He is a PhD Candidate at the University College London, where he is part of the ETHNO-ISS project. His research interests concern material culture studies, environmental and visual anthropology with particular ethnographic focus on space exploration.
medium: iron, gypsum, linen cloth and bee wax.
Bekhbaatar Enkhtur's artistic practice focusses on shifting meanings and migration of objects, rituals and elements of visual culture particularly in relation to Mongolia where his is from and the wider region of Central and East Asia. His sculptures often take the form of animals, examining the relationship between humans and non-humans.
Artist's new sculpture Wolf consists of three wolf-like figures playfully spread alongside the pedestrian walkway. Made from metal bar construction covered with layers of gypsum, linen and beeswax they hold a personal story of witnessing an initiation ritual, as well as visual reference to artist Siyah Qalam, a genre of pen and ink paintings and drawings characteristic to medieval Iran.
The personal story delves from artists memory where wolf figures are related to his childhood experience of observing a shaman ritual where young shamans are prepared for their body to host a spirit. During the ritual they uproot nine trees from the forest, aligning them in a line that they then run around until they lose control of their bodies, howl like a wolf, and fall. That is when the spirit has possessed the body and ancient history can speak through them. The three wolves in the park are a subtle reminder of this third dimension where humans and animals can meet through spirit, one that is often lost in our daily relationships with each other. Curatorial text: Inga Lace
Inga Lāce is CMAP Central and Eastern Europe Fellow at MoMA. She has been a curator at the Latvian Center for Contemporary Art since 2012 and was curator of the Latvian Pavilion of the Venice Biennale 2019 with the artist Daiga Grantina (co-curated with Valentinas Klimašauskas). She has also been co-curator of the Allied – Kyiv Biennial 2021 (as part of the East Europe Biennial Alliance) and co-curator of the 7th-10th editions of the contemporary art festival SURVIVAL KIT (with Jonatan Habib Engqvist in 2017 and Angels Miralda and Solvita Krese in 2018-19, Riga).
Birender Kumar Yadav (1992) feat Ruslan Kadirov (1978) , Manarbek Tusupov (1981) and Eduard Tsege (1990 )
Materials: coquina from Mangystau , terracotta, teramic , iron cast and wrought iron agricultural and industrial tools, steel frame .
Birender Kumar Yadav, an artist from a coal mining town in India, documents the lives of displaced indigenous people who work in brick kilns. These workers, often migrants, live transient lives without national identity cards, making them invisible to the state. The "Qazaq Teela" monument serves as a memorial to their unrecognized labor and the struggles of marginalized, undocumented workers worldwide.
The monument is constructed from Coquina, a sandstone made of ancient shells, symbolizing the deep history of exploitation. It also features tools from the Soviet era, highlighting the impact of failed industrial experiments on migration patterns. The terracotta head of a Santhal-Munda indigenous woman crowning the monument represents the millions of women working in essential but underpaid roles, often excluded from organized labor.
Birender's collaboration with craftsmen from Kazakhstan and a Russian translator illustrates the global nature of the labor issues he addresses in his art, emphasizing the need to reflect on and work towards equity, decolonization, and gender parity.
curatorial text: Sumesh Sharma is a curator based in Mumbai. His interests include alternate art histories and projects informed by socio-economics and politics that often include cultural perspectives, immigrant culture in the Francophone, vernacular equalities, and movements of black consciousness in culture.
Rage Fantasies (2023)
medium: iron fence, cotton.
The hallway is a space that holds cultural and emotional significance in many Soviet-era apartment buildings. It serves as a transitional zone between the outside world and the private space of the home. Aika Akhmetova's sculpture recreates this space, turning it into a platform for interaction, memories, and feelings. She notes that these places are ordinary, but people often experience significant moments in them, such as first kisses or major arguments.
The sculpture allows visitors to become accidental witnesses to private conversations and situations. The goal is to transport the viewers into a space that resonates with the psychological and emotional depth of entrances, drawing attention to hidden moments of everyday life.
The title "Rage Fantasies" suggests that the sculpture can explore complex and sometimes suppressed emotions in the dynamics of family relationships, revealing something intense that can exist beneath the surface. This work was first exhibited at Ortega Y Gasset Projects in New York. The historical Arasan bathhouse also falls into the context of the "personal" and the "public.
Solo Exhibition by Kim Ok-sun – The Story of You and Me
Technique: Digital C-print
People move around the world for various reasons, from natural disasters to armed conflicts and historical changes. The relationship between South Korea and Kazakhstan has a long history, dating back to the resettlement of Koreans during the Soviet colonial period and their escape during the Cold War, to the present importation of K-Pop culture and the exchange of economic resources.
The aim of this exhibition is to reexamine and reinterpret the history of Korean-Kazakh interactions through the photo works of Oksun Kim, who documents the personal stories of Korean diaspora members from various countries around the world.
In the 50 portraits presented in the exhibition, ordinary people are depicted who often live at the crossroads of borders. They remain in several places simultaneously under the pressure of history or by their own choice.
Standing alone in front of the camera, people tell their own stories, and the facts of their biographies, like small streams of water, merge into the larger flow of history. The exhibition, condensing their long lives into a small display, pushes the thought beyond fragmentary and functional interactions controlled by modern economic systems.
The personal exhibition of the artist will take place at the Kasteev Museum in November 2023, and in the meantime, we are showcasing some works from the upcoming exhibition.
Reverse Dive (Local Knowledge, Partial Truth)
Within her augmented virtual creation, titled "Reverse Dive (Local Knowledge, Partial Truth)," Lauren Moffatt unveils a captivating reinterpretation of our connection with the world, focusing intently on the intricate relationship between humanity and nature. Through shifts in perspective and scale, the artist introduces an awe-inspiring character crafted from flowers - a monumental collage that breathes with life.
Through a technological object, the portal, observers are invited to engage with an innovative proposition created by the artist, within the same environment they presently stand.
Nature, and more specifically flowers, a vital component of our planet's life cycle, becomes animated with an aesthetic and colorful soul - a giant hybrid stands before us. Between the human, composed of limbs and inhabited eyes, and the realm of fantasy, a digital floral collage, emerges on our screens - a sense of intimacy blooms, and a profound connection is forged. We then bear witness to the relationship between humankind and nature, almost as if to remind us that nature, often perceived as in-animated, is in reality alive in its entirety.
Moffatt astutely re-centers our discourse, orchestrating a dance of size and imagination around a pivotal theme: the enduring interdependence of humanity with nature, its surroundings, and its elements - an invitation to awaken from this lethargy, a challenge to the ceaseless control and domination we exert over nature.
Lauren Moffatt's work is undeniably infused with optimism, being part of the series "Flowers for Suzanne Claire" - the artist draws inspiration from a science fiction novel "The Crystal World" where the secondary character, a woman named Suzanne Claire, witnesses the disastrous change in our world, its impending end. Unlike the main character, her male counterpart, Suzanne Claire views the world's transformation as an alternative to the known, as an unfamiliar opportunity for a novel existence.
The augmented reality installation is imbued with history, humanity, fantasy, and inevitably political undertones: the roles of the feminine and masculine, and our relationship with the environment. A virtual installation that raises contemporary questions that we must confront. And what if a portal finally enabled a drastic shift in our relationship with nature? Lauren Moffatt presents this proposition to you - the decision is yours to make.Curatorial text: Pauline Foessel is the curator and entrepreneur behind Artpool whose extensive work as director at art institutions, galleries and studios has shaped her understanding of the art landscape globally.
"Metamorphosis of Earth" - Year 3021
#2 in "Metamorphosis of Earth" Collection
The earth is going through major changes due to pollution, global warming, aging and a lot of other reasons - both manmade and natural.
The earth as we see in the near future might be completely filled with water. Although, there are strong hopes for life form to still thrive at its glory - as seen in the art work by the glitching nets.
What lies within the bounds of being? IntraBeing confronts the boundaries of imaging the human body to imagine a boundless and intra-active sense of being. During the STEAM III Residency, Eli Joteva worked remotely with researchers at Fraunhofer MEVIS to investigate the capacities of medical imaging and simulation procedures and locate enigmatic spaces that emerge at the limits of their resolution and computation. She conducted a series of full body MRI scans and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) scans, commonly used only to show connectivity in the brain, to instead uncover nerve fibers in the chest and pelvic regions of her body. She drew inspiration from the fact that hydrogen atoms, which MRI processing relies on, are also in constant flux on a nano-second timescale and thus evade accurate measurement. These components are key elements in the artwork, which exhibits an oscillating inner landscape of hydrogen atoms, the nerves they flow along, and the magnetic potentials generated between them.
Tree of life, 2023
Art, nature, and science form an inseparable sphere of interest for Saken Narynov. Many of Narynov's works are aimed at depicting speculative things hidden from the human eye, such as the infinitely small molecule or the infinitely vast galaxy.
Eco-friendliness, a significant element of the architect's work, determines the formal and substantive content of the image, as well as the choice of material. Contemplating the relationship between science and nature, the artist decides to combine a biological natural object and a speculative formula. The installation's semantic and compositional center is an evergreen tree, the blue spruce. The choice of this plant is not random, as it illustrates Goethe's lines on one hand and references the blue spruce as a symbol of the Alatau foothills of Kazakhstan, where this unique natural object thrives in abundance, on the other.
Around the trunk and crown (without harming the tree), a construction made of stainless steel will be placed. It will simulate the crystalline lattice of the chemical formula of cellulose, creating symbolic protection for the tree from intrusion and "encroachments" on its life and integrity.
An important conceptual and meaningful accent explaining the title of the work is a quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: "All theory is gray, my friend. But forever green is the tree of life" This statement (in four languages - German, Kazakh, English, and Russian) is intended to be placed on a four-sided granite base surrounding the tree.
The diagonal and horizontal lines, points of junction and intersection in a strictly defined sequence, are based on strict logic and precise mathematical calculation.
The cold metallic structure - an abstract formula of sorts - unexpectedly takes on a completely different interpretation and sound in the immediate proximity of a living biological object. The geometric structure represents the formula of cellulose derived from wood.
The organic visualization is built on the contrast of cold-warm, living-inanimate, natural-artificial - such polar opposites are characteristic of Narynov's exploration, as he firmly believed that duality is the basis of everything that exists.
Christopher Herwig is a Canadian photographer and director with thirty years of experience working in over 90 countries. He seeks beauty and inspiration in all aspects of life, and firmly believes that there is still room for adventure and discovery in the world. Some time ago, the photographer set out on a tent trip from Vancouver to Cape Town, crossing Iceland on foot and by raft, and cycling around Europe. He now lives in Sri Lanka, and before that in Jordan, Liberia and Kazakhstan. He has photographed the most remote regions of the world - from the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan to the jungles of West Africa, collaborating with GEO, CNN Traveler, Geographical and Lonely Planet. He has worked extensively with NGOs and UN agencies in some of the most challenging regions to bring a human face to their analyzes and projects.
Bus stops will never stop
Architecture, like anything else during the Soviet period, was under strict centralized supervision. While art and grand monuments were expected to advance the state narrative of communism as paradise on earth, sometimes the benign bus stops were overlooked. As a result, hundreds of architecturally distinctive bus stops are now scattered across the former Soviet Republic. Built by individuals who decided to follow their own artistic urges, they found a way of expressing local and artistic ideas, in this small form. Their bus stops were built as quiet acts of creativity against overwhelming state control.
In 2002, Canadian photographer Christopher Herwig came across his first of these distinctive pieces of architecture, and has since pioneered a bus stop hunting trend from Kiev to Vladivostok. The bus stops he has chronicled represent an astonishing variety of original styles and types, from the strictest Brutalism to exuberant whimsy. Herwig's resulting photography books have become international bestsellers and are critically praised as gems on architecture and cold war history.
Shot over a period of 7 years, Soviet Bus Stops follows Herwig on several bus stop hunts, listening in as he seeks answers as to how these unique creations came to exist. Puzzled by their origins, and without historical records, Herwig tracks down several of the creators and finds inspiration and a strengthened belief that the special bus stops need to be remembered.
Today, cursed by the memory of the era in which they were created, many bus stops have been torn down or disregarded as strange and embarrassing. Few people see them as the phenomenon Herwig does. He considers them to be one of the largest and most diverse architectural collections in existence. Their rejection of established forms is key to this appreciation. Herwig's twenty year-long efforts in photographing hundreds of bus stops is an attempt to memorialize them before they are all demolished.
Soviet Bus Stops accompanies Herwig on his unforgettable road trip, as he meets some of the humble and charming bus stop creators from Ukraine, Estonia, Georgia, Belarus, and Lithuania. The remaining bus stops represent the stories of people who created small acts of poetry against all odds.
- Star Wars 2023 (inDrive Public Art Object)
- medium: Print on composite sheet material with contour backlight, neon.
- Artist Saule Dusenbina explores the place of myth and history in today's pop culture. In her visual vocabulary, batyrs peacefully coexist with flies, ram horns with logos of Italian fashion houses, traditional chapans with masterpieces of world art. Moreover, the line between urban and natural also becomes blurred. It seems that in the soup of urban visual culture, identities are born anew every day, and as a result, it's difficult to determine the influence of one culture on another. For the ARTBAT FEST 11 festival, Dyussenbina creates the first mural in Kazakhstan made with neon elements. It can be seen both during the day and at night.