Location: Zere School of Fine Arts

Address: 11, Residential Complex "Botanical Garden" 11/2, Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Date: September 15

Time: 18.00

Grand opening of the exhibition. A buffet, pleasant music and socializing.

Date: September 16

Time: 16.00

Lecture "How to look at contemporary art and understand it".

Date: September 17

Time: 14.00

Art Mediation - a new format for viewing contemporary art exhibitions.

Exhibition «Naked Me»:

Artist - Assel Sargaskayeva
Curator - Irina Shrainer
Coordinator - Evgenia Bukhtueva
THE Naked Me
Humanitarian Art Project
The exhibition consists of works that belong to different series but convey a common theme and message from the artist's feminist outlooks, driven by the purpose of finding a vital balance between masculine and feminine principles.
Initially, both the representation of this subject in arts and establishing a large-scale project are associated with serious challenges facing society. There is a rational connection between Assel Sargaskayeva’s art and her life stance as a woman towards the outer world and the ways it manifests itself. The artist is raising vital questions about the balanced and happy existence of a woman in a patriarchal world. Her works are a synthesis of material and spiritual values that are inherited in the feminine part of society, in a balance of emotions, feelings, cognition and common sense.
The feminist theory offered by the artist is based on different methodological studies which contributed to setting up a worldview where the theory of gender relies on the denial of biological determinism in social relations between genders. This stance considers the anatomical sex of a person as a constant that determines the distinctions between male and female, insisting that someone’s social status should not be identified according to their anatomical sex. Assel’s message is not to deny the difference between the characteristic features of male and female nature based on the natural sex distinction, but rather the presence of personal experience, both masculine and feminine and the importance of supporting its development and formation. In this case, the representation of feminist ideas has a different message as it reflects the artist’s subjective insights into the interpretation of feminism — not necessarily in line with the actual ideals of its adherents, thus providing another kind of female gaze.

The underlying feminist ideology also helps perceive and analyze Assel’s artworks in terms of their artistic value. It acts as a baseline for the interpretation of her art that can be used for understanding both her works and the theme of this exhibition.
Representing the problem raised with the help of the visual language of graphics and painting integrates the problem into the system of art but also promotes a public debate that will help raise awareness of the matters concerned. These are still important and relevant issues of current times, so there is an abundance of projects covering them. Due to many conflicting views
Throughout worldwide history, women’s art has been given only a secondary importance. It had a certain context and was tied to gender roles established in a traditional patriarchal society. For a long time, male art, as opposed to female art, was significantly predominant, both socially and politically, as the state and society provided a dominant space for its presentation and individual self-expression. The lack of representation of women’s themes in the history of arts resulted in a kind of vacuum that needed to be filled. This project helps maintain the relevance of the cause for the sake of restoration of the male and female balance.

It should be noted that Assel’s unique biography left a vivid mark on her development into an artist. Born into a large family in Kazakhstan, Assel was the eldest child and developed a sense of empathy towards others at a young age. Although she was raised according to the traditions of her homeland and Islam, her parents provided her with an excellent education in economics, thus supporting her decision to mark her own path. Her years of studying finance in London and her passion for reading have determined her personal development in the future. Assel Sargaskayeva asserts that, regardless of gender, a human being is a project that consists of properly defined goals, accomplished deeds and choices made. Volition and pursuit of freedom are the key helpers on our way to success. One decides for oneself whether to be happy and whether one can create their own happiness. The synthesis of these principles and the strength of mind represents the life stance of the artist who has elected to use fine art to pursue her mission of inspiring women to achieve their goals and desires. According to Assel, a woman should not be identified with gender role alone, albeit it holds an important place in her life. The artist is placing focus on the human being’s fundamental interest in the essence of the surrounding world, their place in the spiritual field, and their desire to grasp the basis of the universe and understand the purpose of their existence and ways to realize their creative potential. Assel conveys that a woman can exist independently while realizing all the pressure from male predominance. It’s only in her proactive approach to life that a woman can find her transcendence, realize her own potential, be happy, and achieve her goals. By asserting her rights and becoming economically independent, a woman grows into a personality and gets to know herself.
The artist celebrates motherhood while believing that it should not be seen as a limit or goal for being a female, but rather it should be a part of one’s life concept that supplements intellectual and spiritual functions. Assel’s art looks to support building one’s identity but finds it important to be based on a motivating vector of focus on the need to articulate a new discourse on the role of women in the construction of social fabric. The unique vision and worldview give life to a new phenomenon in philosophy and art history — the phenomenon of positive feminism.

by Irina Shrainer

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