Gulnur Mukazhanova - Öliara: The Dark Moon, installation view, 2023, SOMA, Berlin
Gulnur Mukazhanova - Öliara: The Dark Moon
SOMA, Eylauer Straße 9, 10965 Berlin
Gulnur Mukazhanova, born in 1984 in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, explores the Kazakh concept of Oliara (literally "dead in between") or "dark moon". The artist uses Oliara as both a metaphor for the collective trauma inflicted on the Kazakh population during Soviet and Russian oppression, and for the recent violent outbreaks of Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine and bloody January in Kazakhstan in 2022. Mukazhanova's work is strongly influenced by her nomadic heritage and subsequent loss of identity through colonisation. With her imposing, colourful works composed of smaller textile fragments held together only with pins, Mukazhanova evokes the grief and uncertainty that accompany the abrupt disruptions of once-stable lifestyles and cultures.