Photography, 96.5 x 127 x 5.5 cm.
Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. S0441_02).
The three images in light boxes The Observer, Forever Umai, and Tengri Boy (2010) are key moments stills, from Kazakhstan-born artist Almagul Menlibayeva’s film Milk of Lambs (2010). In this work, Menlibayeva researches the rebuilding of national identity in Kazakhstan after the fall of the Soviet Union, often referencing religious or mythological scenes and concepts that take their beginning from the Shamanistic traditions of Kazakh nomads.
A young woman covering her eyes with dead foxes impersonates a contemporary portrait of a Kazakh woman. In Forever Umai, one can see the goddess of fertility and virginity Umai with a man who lies at her feet hugging a sheep. It’s unclear if both of them — the sheep and the man — are dead or alive. In the third still, Tengri Boy, the artist places a modern impersonation of the god of creation Tengri, who repeats the gesture of holding a sheep — a symbol for the protection of his own culture. In the images, gods are young, as the nation after the rebirth.
People stand strong in the endless land, it is the people who determine what is the centre of the world, the centre of society.
Menlibayeva researches the question of national identity as a counter-colonial practice which was and remains relevant in Ukrainian history nowadays. In these works, the artist shows connections between the body and the native landscape of the Steppe, in Kazakhstan, to help people see the resemblance and build stronger connections with the native land.
Events View all
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
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
LATT: Europe at Large #6 ...
16 July 2010 - 29 August 2010.
Since the collapse of the USSR, the European horizon in that direction has remained limited to Russia. We know very little about what is happ
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
The Space of Grounded Ima...
THE SPACE OF GROUNDED IMAGINATION This description came to our mind when discussing the possible proximity of artists such as Jan Fabre,
Landscape (with a reflection by Masi Nayyem) Ukraine combines vast open horizons with industrial urbanism. This landscape is continually
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
EUROPE AT LARGE
During the past decades M HKA has paid enduring attention to that part of Europe that was excluded from the reconstruction of Europe after 19