American University of Beirut

Video Forecast: A Selection of Video Art from Central Asia

September 4 - October 24, 2014 
AUB Byblos Bank Art Gallery​

Video Forecast: A Selection of Video Art from Central Asia introduces the Lebanese public to contemporary artistic strategies and practices encountered today in the post-Soviet republics of Central Asia. Over the past two decades these countries have been caught up in a spiral of political, social and cultural change. The transformations taking place in these five Central Asian states – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan – are influenced by multiple historical and political factors; their continuing negotiation of a post-Soviet identity is shaped by the enduring heritage of the Soviet past, a resurgent nationalism, an Islamic revival (also including its radical forms) and pro-Western democratic aspirations. The artists presented in this exhibition reflect, explore, or draw upon one or another of the contradictions found today in their countries – caught for two decades in a painful process of transition.
This exhibition consists of a selection of videos and experimental films produced by artists from such Central Asian countries as Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The films and videos offer an overview of the current cultural but also political and social situations in these countries. In their works these artists comment, in​terpret or reflect upon some of the most pressing issues: nationalism, religious radicalism, regional segregation, gender inequality, and the lack of constructive negotiation between the general public and the authorities, to name only a few. The works shown in this exhibition bear witness not only to political and social turmoil but also to the cultural and artistic transformations taking place in contemporary art of the region.

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