Dariya Temirkhan's solo show
Location: Dom 36, Almaty, Kazakhstan
January, 2023

Darya Temirkhan’s first solo show “Tynys bitti" is a way for the young artist to express her feelings and unresolved questions concerning January events of 2022 in Kazakhstan through creative pursuits. The show consists of collage series “Dem alu” (from kazakh “to breath”) and video installation “Tûman seïildi, biraq ökpede qalğan küldi qalaï tazartsam bolady?…” (from kazakh “The fog has cleared, but how can I clear the lungs from the ashes?”). Both pieces are a documentation of grief and sorrow that Dariya experienced and the process of self-care she went through on the way to overcome it.
Dariya Temirkhan moved to Almaty in 2016 from Oral city in Western Kazakhstan after being accepted to Oral Tansykbayev college of applied arts. She graduated in 2020, majoring in "Painting" department. Her current collage works has obvious influence of academic painting composition and color solutions, especially of her master, Nurbol Nurakhmet. Dariya's apprenticeship is based on the creation of complex and detailed compositions and the preference for a cold colour palette, which she inherited from her teacher. A signature of both artists is to unfold works full of complex themes and symbolism through often densely concentrated compositions. Same in the "Dem alu" series, Dariya first of all digitally created images and shapes on a tablet, then physically processed them several times and brought them to the final result.
The artist, like other residents of Almaty, lives with an anxious vibe, while getting used to the rhythm of noisy city life. The Bloody January incident in 2022 deepened this feeling. The emerging waves of restlessness found their place directly in Dariya's work. In order to avoid anxiety during the year, the artist draw abstract, brightly colored, anthropomorphic images drowning in the noise of color. Some of them are similar to real human faces and bodies, some similar to sun or a cloudy sky, but surely they depict a restless and erratic hands. Later, the images are printed and then the artist cuts out various geometric shapes from them and pastes them on a paper. The richly colored illustrations seem out of place in depicting the human breath and breathing rhythms, so she chooses a white paper as the main background. In order to make the figures on it closer to the white paper surface, therefore closer to transparent, invisible breath, the artist tears off the pasted colored paper and re-pastes it with the back side. The collage surfaces also become light, approaching the watery illusion of the watercolor technique. Thus the color harmony is found. The compositions in it refer to the rhythm of breathing when the human body is full of fear and anxiety.
Although the breath is invisible to us, it is wrong to consider it insignificant and weightless as matter. That is why Dariya's chosen geometric shapes are polygonal, pointed, long or extremely short. As much as the air inhaled on a cold day feels unpleasant and like a sharp needle, the breath in the moment of fear and/or panic has its own weight. That is why the surface of the collages is full of human handprints, glue, torn paper textures. When creating works, the artist does not try to make them two-dimensional, flat, on the contrary, Dariya is not afraid to show the images full of humane imperfections and sloppiness, which she saw in herself and others. All these qualities come forward.

Each of the paired works in the "Dem alu" series tells the story of the breath at a different moment. Collages like a spark after a gun fire, ray traces after an explosion, or a compressed gas like white void depict the inverted, infinite power that our breath has on us. However, the last three works of the series evolve into a very rhythmic, light form. No matter how difficult it is, as Darya herself said, it is important not to forget to "breathe in and breathe out".
The “Tûman seïildi, biraq ökpede qalğan küldi qalaï tazartsam bolady?…” video-installation was originally an audio work about air pollution in Almaty. Dariya wanted to make her breath audible recording it on the banks of Vesnovka river. The 10-minute audio ends with Daryia gasping for breath. However, after the events of Bloody January, the artist turns the work into a full video piece. The audio in it, like the collages, undergo some processing and become more complex. The footage in the video shows a vaguely collaged figure disappearing and reappearing in the middle of a field full of poppies. In the course of research work she came across many legends about poppy. According to some legends, the place where poppy grows is the place of past war, a human bloodshed. As if a visual memory of land of once spilt blood. It seems very appropriate that the opium drug, which helps to forget such trauma, is extracted from the poppy flower.
Dariya, like many other Kazakhstani people, feels as if her breathing has been artificially blocked and she cannot wake up from a nightmare. The isolated figure in the video looks like a piece of technical equipment or a human body wrapped in a many fabrics. Even though the video is repetitive, as the audio approaches its climax, it's clear that the breath is getting heavier and heavier. This tonal change affects the image and makes the figure clearer. The composition of the video is singled to the point of this giant blue body, and we, the viewer, feel that now we are isolated due to pressure of this body. Its effect increases. His power over us also increases. Our breathing slows down, and anxiousness completely dominates our bodies. What do we know as anxiety? How do we understand its consequences? Is the feeling first felt by the human body, or is it caused by the human mind? These questions keep multiplying while watching the video on an infinite loop, and the answers are still not to be found.
Dariya uses the principles of collage technique in all her creations, be it on paper, video, or audio, and creates multifaceted works. In this quest, Dariya relies on words and language as a medium as well. During the year, the artist talks with various poets and writers, and finally starts working with the young poet Aizharyk Sultankozha. The artist and poet discussed ways to psychological, political and spiritual reflection through language. Although the stylistic methods of both of them are different (Aizharyk writes abstract poetry, Dariya is closer to prose), they were able to reveal each other's sensibilities. Through the exchange of opinions, they influenced each other's creativity and brought to life the final works of poetry. In addition, Darya's poem became the title of her video installation.

DAVRA collective's winter public programme in Central Asia
Location: Tashkent, Almaty, Bishkek, Dushanbe
December, 2022 - February 2023

During winter chilla (forty coldest or hottest days of the year) from 19th of December 2022 to 3rd of February 2023, DAVRA will share their experience of documenta fifteen and present a group show in Tashkent. The exhibition will showcase art pieces made in the framework of the project ‘Chilltan’ and new pieces inspired by the experience of the summer public programme by artists from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tatarstan. In addition to the group show, the research group will present a public programme in four cities of Central Asia - Tashkent, Almaty, Bishkek and Dushanbe.
During the public programme DAVRA will also hold screenings of films from the Lumbung Films collection (films by documenta fifteen members).

Assel Nusipkozhanova's solo show
Location: Villa boutiques, Almaty, Kazakhstan
August, 2021

"Gazhap dunie" is a solo show of Assel Nussipkozhanova - an autobiography depicted through portraits of women close to artist, as well as an ode to the city of Almaty.
Collage aesthetics is an important and easily noticeable characteristic of the works presented at the exhibition. As a clothing designer, Assel uses her experience in fashion and understanding of textiles and applies them on canvas. In the series of works "Balkondar" there is a central cube, which resembles to set design lighting of fashion shows. It accentuates female postures and their outfits. The repeating shape of the square is framed within the intricate patterns borrowed from iconic architecture of Almaty such as the Academy of Sciences, Soviet Supermarket and so on. Through the recognisable decorum of old city of Almaty, Assel creates complex ornamental backgrounds for her heroines.
All of the represented characters, as Assel says, are portraits of friends and close female relatives. Their poses are very relaxed, although the looks are deliberately elaborate. The cube behind them is a metaphor of a balcony, where they nostalgically observe the city, which in fact they and Assel herself have never witnessed. "Manchanza" (from Italian "boredom") - a feeling of boredom, a lack of something or someone, accurately conveys the nostalgia that is inherent in these characters just like when we get dressed, but decide to stay at home. The reality in which the whole world spent the last year, missing the essence of being, the only "outing" was a stroll to the balcony.
In these paintings, the artist touches up onto the current actualities, as well as on the changes a person, and especially a woman, goes through. The "Balkondar" series is about the multifaceted nature of femininity and different social statuses in the life of each female representative. From a teenager to mature young woman, from daughter to mother.
These changes are obviously present in Assel's life as well and therefore she is nostalgic of her youth, nonetheless there's a bold gaze towards motherhood. She's missing people dear to her heart who were responsible for her sense of style and an understanding of femininity, however, in the present she is ready to create and shape her own designs and patterns. For this reason, portraits "Mama" and "Boijetken" are stylistically different from the previous ones. If there is certain clarity and detailed structure in the "Balkondar" series, which definitely came from the world of fashion, Assel's sanctuary and confined area of expression. The latter ones are like a negative film just about to be developed; images are naive, the facial features are caricature like. The only thing that is recognisable are the blue polka dots on the dresses Just as in front of a person at the turn of the search for a new self, so as in the creative discoveries of a new medium there is so much unknown ahead. There is only a big incredible world ahead.

O, Ğazhap dünie…
Pavilion consisted of three performances. All three performances were on consumerist society: artists were performing three stages of consuming – a product, a tag machine, a consumer.

Ramil Niyazov
Leonid Khan
Ilyas Niyazaliyev
Dilda Ramazan
Dalila Kanagat
Aïda Adilbek
Performative Pavillion “Magnum”
Co-curated with Dilda Ramazan
Interventions to grocery store chain “Magnum”
Almaty, 2017
Grand Prix at April's Fool Bishkek competition 2017
Made on