Italiano (Italian)

19th March – 24th April 2021

On view online at the gallery’s website

Fabrics of silk and velour stretch tautly over canvases, luring the viewer into Gulnur Mukazhanova’s first solo showing with Galerie Michael Janssen. Titled “Un-Conscious,” Mukazhanova’s exhibition questions the divide between what is seen and what lurks behind a dazzling surface.

The artist’s practice is centered around questioning, researching, and examining motifs and rituals of her traditional Kazakh culture and likewise global movements. In this showing, she specifically attends to the material exchange of fabrics and carpets, like the Tus-Kiz, during moments of celebration: tantalizing textures of bright cerulean and woven patterns meant to bring good fortune take on a new form in her work. Given as gifts during weddings and other ceremonial moments, the cloths mark hopes for prosperity, but as the artist notes, they are mere illusions that cover other darker cultural norms. Mukazhanova’s works pose bold questions through their profoundly sensitive displays.

Using pins and needle work, Mukazhanova unravels modes of superficial conviviality. In Moment of the Present #25, felt, brocade, lurex, pins, collage (2021), hundreds of pins hold together golden petals. From afar, the shape appears to be lush and ornamental, though peering closely, one can see how it might collapse at any moment. Stability, and likewise beauty, are held together by fragile threads. These material practices echo the artists interest and investigation into traditional nomadic cultures in Central Asia and global telecommunication fluxes that drive her series Post-Nomadic Reality (2021). Here, the artist uses fine merino and silk wool that have been felted by hand. Modern geometric shapes collapse depth of field into a flat plane.

 “Un-Conscious” will open on Friday March 19th and be on view online at the gallery’s website until April 24th. A walk-through video will guide the viewer through the exhibition, granting access to the two new series of works.

Text: Vanessa Gravenor