Born in Almaty (KZ), lives in Berlin (DE).
Almagul Menlibayeva (°1969) was born in Almaty (Kazakhstan). Trained as a painter, Menlibayeva exhibited with ‘Zelyonyi triugolok’ (Green Triangle), a group of young artists in Almaty in the late eighties. In the nineties the burgeoning Kazakh art market created a reasonably high demand for her paintings. Yet Menlibayeva turned to performance and video in the first years of the new millennium. An early example is the action Vechnaya nevesta (‘Eternal Bride’, 2002), for which she roamed the streets and bazaars of Almaty dressed in the long white gown and veil of a Soviet bride. This indicates her strong interest in the female experience and the quest for emancipatory modernity that the USSR also stood for, despite all its cruelty and dysfunction.
Menlibayeva has been called a ‘punk-shaman’, and it is true that her more recent works very consciously combine exotic imagery with the latest tendencies in digital technology and electronic music. Her strategy underlines many of the gaps and disconnections that become visible in Central Asia (in her case Kazakhstan) as the region now moves ‘forward’ and ‘backward’ simultaneously: towards greater integration into the globalised political economy as providers of natural resources and military bases for both Russia and the US, but also towards parochial and paternalistic inertia in domestic politics, where ex-communist rulers gain dominion again and are selling the promise of ‘stability’ to their populations and international patrons.
Items View all
Almagul Menlibayeva, Headcharge Installation, 2007. Installation, 00:12:00 min.
Almagul Menlibayeva, Dior Salome, 2010. Photography, lambda print, alu di-bond, 53.5 x 80.2 x 2.3 cm.
Dior and Boss
Almagul Menlibayeva, Dior and Boss, 2010. Photography, lambda print, alu di-bond, 53.5 x 80.2 x 2.3 cm.
Events View all
The collection XXVII – Ea...
03 March 2011 - 21 August 2011.
Since 1989, the year the Berlin Wall fell and the year of the *Magiciens de la terre* exhibition at Beaubourg, the hegemony of Western art ha
Urgent Conversations Athe...
31 October 2016 - 05 February 2017.
Urgent Conversations: Athens – Antwerp is the first temporary exhibition in the long overdue public unfolding of the Greek National Museum of
When Faith Moves Mountains
17 July 2022 - 09 October 2022.
This project was set up differently from a classic exhibition; the working method was rather activist, whereby a 'coalition of the willing' s
Worth Fighting For
14 November 2022 - 14 December 2022.
Worth Fighting For The Ukrainian fight is about the survival of a nation and its right to exist – politically, militarily, econom
Ensembles View all
MIGRATIE | MIGRATION
Dymphna escaping over sea with her confidant Gerebernus to mainland Europe is a key example of migration, a story in which many refugees will
As a museum with a special focus on Eurasia, M HKA engages with the plurality of culture across the total landmass we know as ‘Europe’ and ‘A