Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev @ Plus Ultra

It was just a little over a year ago that I received a press release about the first Central Asian Pavillion at the Venice Biennale. I blogged on it here. Through Bambino, I had been learning about the subtleties of Central Asian history and contemporary culture, and was quite impressed with how quickly the region's contemporary artists had been gaining international attention after the collapse of the Soviet Union. After a bit more research, I realized that the work of one team of artists from Kyrgyzstan in particular had such a beautiful, almost heartbreaking sensibility that I really wanted to meet them.

When we learned they were coming to New York for a group exhibition at the Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Bambino and I arranged to go and introduce ourselves. Where that beautiful sensibility comes from was immediately apparent. We instantly adored them both and well, one thing led to another, and it today gives me great pride and extreme pleasure to announce their solo exhibition at the gallery, which opens this Thursday. We've just learned that the film they're exhibiting here in New York was also chosen for the Singapore Biennial which opens in September 2006. I hope you can stop in and see this important work. Here's the press release:

Gulnara Kasmalieva / Muratbek Djumaliev
Into the Future
June 15 to July 29, 2006
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 15, 6-8 pm


Plus Ultra Gallery is extremely pleased to present Into the Future, the first New York solo exhibition by Kyrgyz artists Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev. Collaborating for many years, the husband-wife artists are renowned for their documentary-style video installations and photography exploring the ramifications of political upheaval and modernization.

Working in their hometown of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, which has been the center of change and protest since the collapse of the Soviet Union and recent overthrow of the widely criticized administration of former Kyrgyz president, Askar Akayev, Kasmalieva and Djumaliev exhibit here their 2005 dual-channel video installation “Into the Future.” Filmed in Siberia, “Into the Future” offers a direct and thoughtful verification of the effects of change and transformation. Through the juxtaposition of slowly changing images of industrial wastelands and the matter-of-fact recording of people boarding a ferry, they offer a complex, non-ironic look into that ambiguous point at which the future becomes the present and how we cope with that.

In addition, Kasmalieva and Djumaliev present a selection of photographs from their “New Menhirs” series. Referencing the giant stone structures (or “menhirs”) that jut out of the ground, marking prehistoric burial grounds, throughout Central Asia, this series catalogs desolate, often destroyed landscapes of factories and their surroundings. Standing, like menhirs, as monuments to a lost epoch, the ghostly structures in these images symbolize the contemporary stagnation that has replaced the brighter future they once promised.

Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev’s work has been exhibited extensively around the world, including in the Central Asian Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale; the OK Centre for Contemporary Art for ‘Biennale Cuvee’ in Linz, Austria; the Ujazdowski Castle Contemporary art Centre in Warsaw, Poland; and the Sidney Mishkin gallery in New York. Their work will also be included in the upcoming Singapore Biennale which opens in September 2006.

For more information, contact the gallery at info@plusultragallery.com or 212-643-3152.

This exhibition was made possible through the generous assistance of Murat Orozobekov.

Gulnara Kasmalieva / Muratbek Djumaliev
Into the Future
June 15 to July 29, 2006
Opening reception: Thursday, June 15, 2006, 6-8 pm

Plus Ultra Gallery
637 West 27th Street (Ground Floor)
New York, NY 10001
t: 212-643-3152
f: 212-643-2040

Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday, 11am to 6pm or by appointment.
Directions: C or E train to 23rd Street. Walk North to 27th Street. Plus Ultra is between 11th and 12th Avenues.


Anonymous bambino said...

So proud and can't wait for the opening :)

6/13/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this looks wonderful, looking forward to seeing the show.

6/13/2006 07:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

Ok..I luvvvv that your gallery is international.

Sounds good but it ends a little early for me.

I'll visit this gallery for the next show IF it's sound as interesting.

Cedric Caspesyan

6/13/2006 07:55:00 PM  
Anonymous rebel belle said...

Congratulations! Sorry I can't be there for this one. It looks like a great exhibition.

6/13/2006 10:51:00 PM  

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