ASTANA – “Seven Veils of Eurasia,” an exhibit dedicated to the work of Russian photographer Alexei Kritsov and Belarusian sculptor Andrej Ostashov, opened April 12 in the ForteBank Kulanshi Art Space. The event includes more than 30 sculptures and 45 pictures reflecting the most important themes of our lives – peace, love and beauty.
“We are showing two artists – a photographer and a sculptor – and their works are complementing each other, because on the one hand we have very aesthetic photography that was made at the Astana Ballet and on the other hand, we have very surrealistic sculptures that also remind us of dancing ballerinas. Thus, they are making a kind of a dialogue together. Ostashov works with stone and bronze and makes amazing surrealistic pieces that all look Asian. Kritsov is a very talented photographer; who cooperated with the Astana Ballet for this exhibition” said Anne-Marie Avramut, event co-organiser, cultural heritage and art history expert, Eurasian Society for Culture and Arts (Vienna) President and Eurasian Academy of Arts (Kazakhstan) Vice President in an exclusive interview with The Astana Times.
The Eurasian Academy of Arts, Kulanshi Centre of Contemporary Art and ForteBank create cultural projects and exhibits and develop cultural concepts for institutions in the capital.
“ForteBank wants to promote culture in Astana. They want to contribute to culture life in Kazakhstan. It is always a very good sign; it is valuable when such a big institution decides to invest in culture and give something back to its clients. The aim of the exhibition, the aim of art itself, is to unite people to share ideas, enjoy something beautiful, enjoy aesthetics, get out of daily life and emerge in the world of beauty for a few hours,” she said.
The name “Seven Veils of Eurasia” reflects the diverse nature of the region.
“Eurasia does not put itself on the plate. You need to be curious to take away each of these veils so that you will see what it is. It is a journey of discovery. You have different levels of looking at things, perceiving things. If you look at the same picture for the second time or third time, you always see something different. It is about the journey we make in our hearts to lift those veils and emerge ourselves in the culture of Eurasia,” said Avramut.
The exhibition will last one and a-half months and organisers are already thinking about taking it to Austria.
“We are still working on it. I think not only the Kazakh public in Astana will enjoy it, but also many people in the world. Europe knows too little [about local art] and our aim is to promote the art from here. With the Eurasian Academy of Arts, we are working on bringing collections from the Almaty Museum of Arts to Vienna and several locations in Austria, so that Austrians have the chance to see that it is so similar to our art. We know it; it speaks to us and we understand the language because we have common roots,” she said.
Avramut spoke about her close friend, Dr. Leyla Mahat, from the land of the great steppe.
“I learned to know Kazakhstan two years ago on my first trip here. I rented a car in Almaty and drove to Shymkent, Turkestan, the Moiynkum desert, Balkhash, Karaganda and Astana. I visited the museums in every place I travelled and I fell in love with Kazakhstan, with the landscape, with the people, with the culture and the art. Then, I visited the ballet in Astana. It was something I had never heard of before. They danced amazingly, very professionally. I was deeply impressed by the quality of the Astana Ballet. … Leyla Mahat [associate professor at the Kazakh National University of Arts] is a very close friend of mine and I am proud to say that one of her paintings has a prominent place at my home,” she said.