Solo Exhibition of Oksana Mas’ Works
A. Kasteyev State Museum of Arts of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Almaty
Within the framework of ARTBAT FEST 5
3 September, 2014 – 24 September, 2014
Curators: Christina Steinbrecher, Christina Chrasnyanskaya, Marianna Gogova
Cultural Code is dedicated to the existence of a single space in primordial human civilization, which is the basis of different cultures. The project author Oksana Mas says, “I believe in the idea that on the earth there used to be a singe cultural code, which was later divided by states, governors, religions. Nonetheless, it was secured in ethnical paintings, sounds of music, tastes of different cuisines, which might come from opposite locations of the world. The works from Mandala Dance East are the background of the exhibition; this is the story of how this code is rejoined.”
Car vehicles are covered in leather and decorated with precious metals; they form a common composition with the sounds of heart beats, which symbolizes that regardless of what has happened to the civilization this beating remains unchanged and we are still the same as many years ago. A heartbeat always keeps its rhythm; it is the only sound on the planet that has never changed. This is the starting and the ending point. It is the simple truth that nothing can distract us from our human nature, from the rhythm given by God, as the most precise barometer of time.
Mas makes parallels with the main stages of social development such as the appearance of mechanical clocks that influenced human understanding of time. Then, there was the internal combustion engine, which facilitated the social development. Finally, the invention of the Internet, which not only changed a sense of time but sped up access to information and altered the social coordinate system.
Mandala Dance East series is focused on Eastern art; it consists of stickers collected from ornaments and patterns characteristic of a particular culture. The human figures from the picture first appeared in an old project called People, where people are depicted in everyday activities such as walking, feeding pigeons, skiing, sunbathing, or bike riding. It is noteworthy that all these figures are transferred to symbols, which we see from a bird’s-eye view. It is impossible to figure out their location and ethnicities. The artist proves that humanity is united and we do everything in precisely the same way. No matter what we have done and who we used to be, we are together. A human being is the broken segment capable of rejoining the lost basis of the united cultural code and, thus, plays a central role in its search and discovery.