We are the Rivers
Exhibition of Young Artists
Villa del Fiori, Almaty
Within the framework of ARTBAT FEST 6
28 August, 2015 – 10 September, 2015
Curator: Yana Malinovskaya
Participants: 705 Art Group (Chingiz Aydarov, Diana Rakhmanova, Nursultan Manasov, Marat Raiymkulov, Aidan Tokoyeva, Cholponai Borubayeva Amphitheater), Alexandra Ali, Dalida and Duman Aliyevs, Mederbek Akhmetov, ARAM, Alpamys Batyrov, Bakhyt Bubikanova, Zoya Falkova, JOHN GALT art group (Charly Sword, Aisulu Abuova, Kumar Nurpeisov, Aizhan Kunzhebayeva, Aiman Torekhanova, Saltanat Kairalapova), Alexandra Kalacheva, Liza Kin, Aigerim Mazhitkhankyzy, Dana Molzhigit, Anvar Musrepov, Elmurat Nigmatov, Katya Nikonorova, Nurbol Nurakhmet, Yevgeniya Pyatova, Altynai Satanova, Charly Sword, Mansur Smagambetov, Art Group "PNI" (Alexey Shindin, Konstantin Timokhin, Natalia Novikova, Ilyas Sabalakov), Darya Spivakova, and SUINBIKE.
We are the time. We are the famous
Metaphor from Heraclitus the Obscure
We are the water, not the hard diamond
The one that is lost, not the one that stands still...
... We are the vain predetermined river
In his travel to his sea
The shadows have surrounded him
Everything said goodbye to us, everything goes away
Memory does not stamp his own coin
However, there is something that stays
However, there is something that bemoans
– Jorge Luis Borges
According to Gaston Bachelard, everything is the ratio of oneself and ‘one drop of powerful water’ that ‘suffices to create a world and to dissolve the night […] imagined in its depth […]’. The power of water lies in its ability to change and the river is a symbol such of change. However, the definition of transformation itself does not cause the phenomenon directly but reinforces it. In this sense, the exhibition title We are the Rivers is, on the one hand, a broadcast of change, and, on the other, a call for it.
Who are we? We are an artistic force, a collective flow. A creative river originating in the heights of the imagination or in the imaginary peaks. If this stream is inside me, then I am inside the stream. ‘Imagination is not a possibility to create images out of reality in accordance with etymological definition,’ Bachelard wrote, ‘imagination is a possibility to create images beyond reality, praising it.’ Imagining a flow of the river deep inside us, defining ourselves as a changing stream, we gain the ability to forget our own identity through our openness and acceptance of various possibilities and identities. We do it through the process of merging many drops into a powerful river stream. ‘Forget about the words / Become the grass / […] Accept your own name / And become a river,’ were the lines from a song by Boris Grebenshchikov that explained two events: acceptance of one’s calling and the ability to change it.
Plurality, supported by the flow of different “mediums” and formed by artists statements that viewers can use to build a narrative for themselves, is an important part of this exposition. In a balanced environment, all elements interact and compete with each other, parasitize and condition each other, help and depend on each other. One change immediately sets off another. The whole modern world is a space of flows: of information, money, people, transport. Artists present themselves as such flows; by interacting, they create a specific environment. Viewers find themselves inside such an environment, incorporating artistic images found within into their consciousness, in the space of perception. In such a paradigm, it is impossible to dictate anything and such attempts turn against the dictator. Everything here is fluid and flexible, in a state of constant mobility. This idea removes the rigid separation between the virtual, physical, and metaphorical. Continuous streams open up an incredibly wide space for interpretation.
We are the Rivers features works of contemporary artists, conceptual architects, designers, and theater artists. The curatorial choice of work is based on the democratic principle of selection – not by the criterion of artists’ institutional success, but on the basis of the originality of a particular work and the meaningful use of images of renewal, change of oneself, space, society, and relations in it.