Menlibayeva, Almagul b.1969 / Milk for Lambs
Additional images
Menlibayeva, Almagul b.1969 / Milk for LambsMenlibayeva, Almagul b.1969 / Milk for Lambs
about this work
The people of the Kazakhstan steppe live suspended between modern times and their local traditions. Almagul Menlibayeva accompanies the Kazakhstanis during the festivities in honor of Tengri, the god of heaven, and his wife Umai, the goddess of fertile ground. With alternating pictures in black and white and in colour, of the past and of the present, Menlibayeva tells us about the rituals that accompany the festivities and that illustrate the eternal cycle of nature - birth, life and death. At the forefront of the image are the women who seem to coax fertility from the barren steppe by wearing colorful dresses, laying on rich meals and using their female bodily attributes in order to feed their children and their men.

Menlibayeva, a representative of post-Soviet contemporary art in Central Asia, re-discovers in her pictures and performances the customs and traditions of her native country. At the center of attention of her work are the Kazakhstani women and their identity. Until recently, Central Asia was predominantly communist and the ideal of the strong and disciplined female worker was used by communist politics to exploit women. In line with the rest of society, since the end of communism the image of women has too undergone a transformation. In her pictures, Menlibayeva re-tells the search for a personal path through tradition and the modern world.

“When I look at the Steppe, it reminds me of my body, dry and in some places hairy....When I look at the round yurts and tables, they remind me of my breasts.”

(lyrics, Milk for Lambs, Menlibayeva).

Almagul Menlibayeva (b.1969, Kazakhstan)

Milk for Lambs, 2010

High definition video single channel DVD
Edition: 3/5

Priska C. Juschka Fine Art Gallery, New York NY Current Location:
UK - Phillips, London VideoEastern Europe


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