Almagul Menlibayeva (*1969, Kazakhstan) addresses her own origins in her work. Her film EXODUS was shot in Karaganda in central Kazakhstan. It shows nomads, preparing for their departure. Yurts are being taken down and packed; bundles are tied and along with furniture loaded on trucks. This activity is interrupted by two women moving decisively through the lonely steppe. Like wings they spread their long black hair with the hands to both sides. They are Peries, Shaman’s helpers, carrying out a ritual, to prevent the Nomads from leaving. The film nevertheless ends with a large departure: a caravan of people, cars, trucks and horses starts to move slowly towards the horizon. Only a small girl, who had watched the events motionless, appears to be left behind in the steppe.

Almagul Menlibayevas describes the Exodus as a dolorous as well as a hopeful event. Corresponding to the nomads, who leave their previous life behind them, the narration of the film is fractured. The images, changing between cool colours and black and white, intensified by the electronic sounds of the Kazakh musician OMFO, make the action appear distanced and enigmatic. Menlibayevas film is the portrait of a broken culture between aged traditions and a globalized presence. In a melancholic and poetic way it depicts the search for an identity and the departure to an uncertain future.

Almagul Menlibayeva / Exodus

06. November 2011 - 18. December 2011


Opening: Saturday, November 5, 2011, 5 to 8 pm

Curated by Elke Gruhn and Sara Stehr