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Aspan Gallery : Almagul Menlibayeva : It’s Easy to Be a Line / Yerbossyn Meldibekov : It’s Difficult to Be a Point

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Aspan Gallery, Almaty, Kazakhstan, presents its first project in the UK – a duo exhibition by two of Central Asia’s most prominent contemporary artists, Almagul Menlibayeva and Yerbossyn Meldibekov. The exhibition is part of the inaugural programme at Cromwell Place, a first-of-its-kind hub for the arts in the heart of South Kensington. The exhibition titles come from a phrase by an important Soviet avant-garde artist Sergey Kalmykov (1891-1967): “It’s difficult to be a point – it’s easy to be a line, as everything in our world is moving”. Kalmykov moved in the 1930s from Moscow to Almaty, where he was able to paint his imaginary parallel universes with fantastical creatures, far removed from the Socialist Realist constraints imposed by the Soviet State. Kalmykov was an important historical figure, and whilst under­recognized, the fact of his existence itself had a tremendous impact on the development of the contemporary art scene in Central Asia. Menlibayeva explores the painful histories of Central Asia in her video and photography work. In her seminal video Exodus (2009) female spirits dressed in black are seen thrashing...

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