Headcharge Installation


Almagul Menlibayeva


Installation, 00:12:00 min.

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. S0441_10).

Through her work, Almagul Menlibayeva reflects on Kazakh national identity and on the changes her home country went through in the soviet and postsoviet eras. In the installation Headcharge, she symbolically portrays this investigation, using traditional mythological imagery. Four fancily dressed women go out for dinner in the commercial, contemporary Kazakhstan, like modern-day fairies of nomadic myths. In an attempt to understand the political and economic changes the country went through, they order a sheep's head, a Kazakh delicacy; according to shamanic beliefs, consuming the eyes leads to better sight and understanding. Then, exposed, vulnerable and powerless on the wide steppes, they discover that their traditional role has changed - or has it? In Headcharge, Menlibayeva borrows from traditional Kazakh culture to create a new myth.

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