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About Us & Project

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chevalet artiste

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This BLOG

is a part of our future collaborative exhibit.
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Here, you can find our work-in-progress - our research, impressions, sketches, and other collaborative work until the exhibit.
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In each category, you will find texts, photos, video and sounds; you only have to click on the title of the posts to access the entire post.
(see the “Help” page for more details about categories)

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Our PROJECT

is to make a collaborative multi-media installation about the studios of three generations of Kazakhstani artists.

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Today, in the culturally shifting cityscape of Almaty, artists, who were previously supported and employed by the Soviet state, renegotiate their role in society. Our theme is the various transformations of space – those which happen inside the studios of artists, as they creatively inhabit them and those dramatic changes in the urban fabric of Almaty that affect the daily life of everyone.
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We will work with artist of three generations trying to show continuities and ruptures that have taken place in society since the break-up of the Soviet Union.

The oldest generation of artists have trained and worked within the Soviet tradition of academic art. They have been designated as ideologues whose work was supposed to teach how to be a socialist citizen. Their art was supposed to serve the purpose of propaganda of promoting the Soviet way of being. In turn, they were fully supported by the state.
The second generation artists have rebelled against this model of artist by the end of the 1980s. They have drawn their inspiration from Western canon of artists and have moved away from socialist realist art. They went on to produce art that would embody the new national sovereignty of Kazakhstan. Today, these artists form the backbone of Kazakhstan’s art scene.
The youngest generation artists do not have the support of the state and therefore face the challenge of surviving as artists in an underdeveloped art market. Today, being a fine artist is rarely considered as a sustainable way of living. Young artists explore new ideals and models of living and working as an artist.
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We will install the exhibit first at the Soros Center for Contemporary Art in Almaty in August 2007 and later in the United States and France.
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AUTHORS
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zhanara1 Zhanara Nauruzbayeva (Kazakhstan) is a PhD candidate in cultural and social anthropology at Stanford University (USA). Her research subject is the transformation of the creative intelligentsia since the end of the Soviet period. She investigates this question through ethnographic attention to daily practices of how creative people live and work in Almaty. She has been working with the artist community in Almaty, Kazakhstan for the past year.
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daniel1 Daniel Gallegos (USA) is an artist from San Francisco who works with drawing and painting. His subject of investigation is the relationship between architecture and class. He uses painting and drawing as a means of creating installations of environments. Daniel’s current series of paintings uses an ethnographic approach to gain better understanding of the Soviet modernist architecture of Almaty.
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ami 1 Aminatou Echard (France) is an artist who works with experimental film and video installations. Her concern is how space transforms people and how people inhabit spaces. She conveys this idea by exploring the relationship between sound and image. Fieldwork is a crucial element in her artistic practice. After four years of working in Bolivia in ethnomusicology, she has started a new stage in Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan) where she has already spent four months in 2006 by collecting images and sounds to gain an understanding of the specific relationship between spaces and people.
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gaisha3 Gaisha Madanova (Kazakhstan) is a third-year student at the faculty of Architecture in the Almaty College of Construction and Management. In spring 2007, she worked as a photographer in an artist residence in the Cité internationale des arts in Paris.
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