In her video performances Almagul Menlibayeva, an artist from Kazakhstan, employs the language of so-called Romantic Punk Shamanism to express her vision and understanding of the surrounding world. It is a very precise and advanced language of creative expression, which brings a balanced harmony between Islamic culture’s tradition of belonging and contemporary Art.
The notion of female identity is fundamental to Menlibayeva’s work which consists of graphics, painting, performance and video art. She draws from the traditions of her Kazakh culture, including shamanism, the Sufi religion and animism - the belief that natural objects have souls. She knowingly unites these traditions with the ‘traditions’ and ‘vocabulary’ of Western art, creating a harmony between often conflicting cultures.
18th Biennale of Sydney participants Bahar Behbahani and Almagul Menlibayeva
Interview with the artist
My educational background is in the Soviet Russian avant-garde school of Futurism, which I combine with a nomadic aesthetic of post-Soviet, contemporary Kazakhstan – something that I have been exploring in recent years through my photographic and video work.
We find wildness
In my video performances I employ the language of so-called Romantic Punk Shamanism to express my vision and understanding of the surrounding world. Romantic Punk Shamanism is a bearer of an animistic philosophy born in the depth of my culture’s heart that wants to impart its legacy to the globalized technological society.