What? exhibition of Dmitry Rugis’ QAZAQSTANDYQTAR | Positive Identity series
Where? Arman cinema (Almaty, Kazakhstan)
When? December 14, 2018 — January 27, 2019
Twenty seven years of independence. That’s not a round number, nor really a subject for massive celebrations, but in 2018 we have three holiday days to self-reflect on shimmering screens. What is Independence? What are the strongest images of the Independent Kazakhstan that Google offers in the search results and is there a difference when you search from dot-k-z? Has the way the words sound changed?
The photograph series that the author discovered for himself ten years ago and still continues collecting is definitely what #Kazakhstan is for us.
Dmitry Rugis does not want to accept that common flawlessness of modern photography. Having found the beauty in the steppe landscapes, in the remote villages, in the ordinary people who live in different parts of the big country — Kazakhstani people, Dmitry says, “I am a Kazakhstani too”.
The decision that the author takes when facing the choice that many people in the country are faced with — the one between Kazakhstan and the rest of the world — is especially indicative. Half German, half Lithuanian, Dmitry Rugis does not put on ethnographic glasses and does not estrange himself from Kazakh culture; instead, he sees its self-sufficiency and equal value. The most striking feature of that “positive identity” is that the author suggests his own version. This Kazakhstan is full of contrasts. “I want people on my photographs to speak for themselves, to claim their existence. I live here and I work here.” The “imperfect” documentary aesthetics record the reality as it is while we are still struggling to embrace it.
*positive identity is an organic unity of an individual and people surrounding him/her.
Idea: Azhar Dzhandossova
Organized by Almaly Zhumak foundation
Address: 104 Dostyk ave.