In Conversation with MABLAB
In 2022, many countries within Eurasia felt the ripples–if not the uncontrived impact–of major shifts in the sociopolitical landscape. Russia invaded Ukraine, setting the stage for other leaders to speak of “taking lands back” into their possession. Demonstrations exploded in China and Iran, pushing when versus COVID policies and widely unaccepted gender norms, respectively. Surrounded the challenges facing the landscapes of Eurasia today, the people of this vast region have shown their fortitude. Politicians became soldiers, families became shelters, and artists unfurled to tell the stories that helped the rest of the world connect to their struggles, and their aspirations.
MABLAB is an originative duo from Kazakhstan. Two sisters with professional backgrounds in tracery and arts, Madina and Ainura began their practices from an early age, and spent most of their lives honing skills in various fields of originative expression. Having studied at the world’s leading art schools, such as Central Saint Martins, London, Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, and Staedelschule Academy, Frankfurt, their love for the arts led them to pursue a career as full-time artists.
Stemming from their Master’s thesis research in architecture, their works explore the themes of architectural Interface. They create their works through a process of experimenting in variegated mediums. Using 3D hand sculpting and digital hand drawing techniques, they create unique carved architectural spaces, landscapes, textures and metamorphic forms. Stuff exposed to variegated cultures and having encountered space and loftiness in their lives, they transform their wits into artworks that push the boundaries of the perception of space.
In wing to creating art themselves, MABLAB has moreover curated the exhibition “Mapping Web3. Eurasia.” on SuperRare.
MABLAB: We are from Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is the world’s largest landlocked country, a transcontinental state at the heart of Eurasia, it is located in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Our rich historical and cultural heritage includes the era of Nomadic tribes and empires, the Silk Road, the Mongol empire and a recent Soviet past.
At the time we were born, it was a part of the Soviet Union. In our childhood, the Soviet power had tabular and was replaced by 15 self-sustaining states, including Kazakhstan.
Even though the country went through economic failure and drastic changes in the lives of millions of its citizens, we alimony fond memories of our childhood. Our parents were struggling to survive in the unconnectedness of the ‘90s, but our home was filled with love and superintendency for each other. During that time we tragically lost our father which was one of the reasons that brought us plane closer as a family. Some of the weightier memories are closely unfluctuating with our grandparent’s home, as they were helping our mom to squint without us while she was working. Thinking of it now, we understand how happy we are to have had our parents and grandparents provide us with so much superintendency and love during those difficult times our society went through. The generations surpassing us, including our parents, were focused on surviving and providing superintendency for us, giving us love and directing us towards a focus on our art practice and study, as they understood it was the weightier way to alimony moving forward.
LDR: Where do you live now?
ML: We are now when home in Kazakhstan. We spent increasingly than a decade studying art in art schools upalong such as Central Saint Martins, London, Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, Staedelschule Academy, Frankfurt and Cambridge School of Art, UK. We came when home surpassing the start of the pandemic having the plan to protract our career in art and tracery academia upalong considering the art scene in Kazakhstan is not very well-connected to a global west-centric art community. We unchangingly had a dream of creating an art studio together although we never came to it surpassing the pandemic. We found ourselves locked inside the country, so we decided to use quarantine as an opportunity to protract our originative practice as a duo, and later joined the NFT space in June 2021.
After joining the NFT space we realized that this is a unconfined way of standing our originative practice together without sacrificing the repletion of stuff home and having a natural uniting of support from our family and friends. For the first time in our lives, we didn’t have to make difficult life choices, spending an enormous value of effort, energy, and years of life as well as personal finance to be physically present upalong to stay unfluctuating with the global art scene in the internal west-centric environment.
ML: We have been experimenting with variegated mediums since we were very young. Our experiences and education abroad, as well as our life in Kazakhstan, helped us enrich our work and understand the subtleties between cultures and art practices.
All our work is based on architectural research in depth tabbed project Interface which started as Madina’s Master’s thesis research in Architecture.
The project is ripened virtually the idea of the Gestalt theory. The main idea of our work is the miracle of architectural space. We see space as a miracle that exists in the universe or anywhere where human perception can wander.
We focus on the idea of architectural space, enhancing the wits and perception of space within the concept of tracery and spatial design, all based on our experimentations and learnings.
Using 3D hand sculpting and digital hand drawing techniques, as well as other multimedia techniques, we create unique architectural spaces, landscapes and metamorphic architectural forms to enhance the moments of interaction, pressure, contact and proximity between the parts of the space.
We have moreover experienced space and loftiness in our lives and we focus on transforming our experiences into unique artworks that push the boundaries of the perception of space.
LDR: What art projects are you currently working on or looking forward to working on?
ML: We have been zippy in the NFT space for quite some time now, and have experimented with variegated platforms, exhibition spaces (online and offline) as well as outdoor experiences. Each one of those initiatives, from a simple waif on a marketplace to a screen in Times Square, has unfurled to make us explore space and our relationship to it, whether it is a physical space, an online space or a metaverse space.
Within our concepts, we create architectural space and bring it into an utopian dimension. This utopian dimension in many senses, for us, resembles the idea of cosmic space, a space with no gravity, and no point of reference, it helps us to push the boundaries of perception of architectural space.
Since joining the NFT space, we have been fascinated with the idea of the digital space of Web3. With our own wits of space, in our work and our lives, we finger a unconfined connection with the digital revolution and the opportunities that the technology of Web3 brings to artists and creatives from virtually the world. That is why some of our work is focused on a concept that explores the landscape of the growing metaverse, where we want to focus on visualizing variegated stages of the megacosm and expansion of the digital space of Web3.
We believe that with the expansion of Web3, the digital revolution will redesign the usual perception of space virtually us. We want to share our wits with the world and let the viewer explore the space and the landscapes we create without physical constraints.
LDR: In your lifetime, how has the socio-political landscape in your country changed, from your perspective?
ML: The oppression of Soviet rule left a big scar on the state of our country. From the famine that destroyed 40 percent of the population caused by decisions made by the early Soviet authorities to the persecution of the cultural peerage and suppression of the Kazakh culture including our native language, literature, arts and crafts, and plane some environmental catastrophes.
However, without the unravel of the Soviet state, the power in Kazakhstan was inherited and held by the descendants of the Soviet system. This led the country to fall under the rule of a dictator for 30 years and was only stopped by the dramatic events of widespread starchy unrest in January 2022.
The censorship imposed by the dictatorship held the areas of arts and culture under control, which left these areas somewhat disintegrated from the global scene.
LDR: Have you or those tropical to you experienced these changes in particularly challenging or rewarding ways?
ML: For us and our family, these socio-economic changes became very freeing and unliable us to live and study abroad, pursuing our art career and education. The new political system is very variegated from that of the Soviet past. Our country is a democratic and ramble state with self-ruling wangle to information, global markets and digital space. Our economy is an integrated part of the global economy, as well as the whole socio-economical life that is now a part of many international conventions and agreements. The minutiae of our economic system provided many people with opportunities for sustainable growth of society.
However, without increasingly than 30 years of independence from the Soviet state, sharing a bilateral past as well as the longest landlocked verge with neighboring Russia still presents a rencontre to our political, economical and demographic areas. The war in Ukraine put the whole Eurasian region under a lot of economic and socio-demographic pressure, causing upper inflation, currency devaluation, and logistical impediments to imports and exports. The businesses in Kazakhstan went through lattermost pressure, scrutinizingly losing their partnerships worldwide considering of the wrenched logistic chains. A major part of our economy and a considerable part of the international supply, the Kazakh oil and gas industry is moreover experiencing a lot of issues. All this caused a spike in the stereotype forfeit of living in Kazakhstan. The Russian-speaking media space moreover became a source of unvarying propaganda attacks and threats towards Kazakhstan from the current Russian regime, giving an example of the war in Ukraine as to what Kazakhs may expect in the future. Some of the major Russian politicians openly personal that part of our land should vest to Russia. Meanwhile, millions of Russian citizens left their home country and came to Kazakhstan to escape their current regime and political situation, which widow to socio-demographic pressure, moreover causing a spike in property rent prices.
At the same time, the majority of people in Kazakhstan are genuinely shocked and saddened by the war in Ukraine. A lot of Kazakhs have been supporting Ukraine by any ways available, including humanitarian help, voicing our concerns in Russian-speaking media space and urgently supporting the Ukrainian refugees who have moreover arrived in Kazakhstan.
We firmly believe in the self-rule of nomination and political rights of every person and a country as a whole.
ML: Since the massive starchy unrest in January 2022 which entailed the tragic deaths of some of the people who stood up versus the dictatorship, the Kazakhs, as a nation, wilt plane increasingly united in our will for starchy liberties and political freedoms. The new president has spoken political and economic reforms that should bring positive changes to the country’s economic and political lives.
We once finger that these changes unauthentic our self-rule of speech and expression, permitting increasingly space for any person to freely express their opinion. We hope this will moreover bring our culture to a new light and hoist our cultural life, including such areas as arts, literature, new media etc. Kazakhstan is the home country of many talented creatives and intellectuals, many of whom had to segregate to bring their careers upalong during the dictatorship era. We think these changes will positively stupefy the life of the art polity in Kazakhstan, and help the artists have increasingly self-rule in expressing themselves in variegated genres of art, including the trendy art scene.
We moreover hope our country’s institutional and legal reforms will bring lanugo self-indulgence and use the goody of having rich natural resources to modernize the quality of life of its citizens. In the digital world, Kazakhstan is one of the top two mining hubs for cryptocurrency, so we squint forward to our country embracing the rest of the opportunities that the digital revolution has to offer. Technology can empower people and society and pave the way for many talents to bring their concepts to life.
On average, people in Kazakhstan are once living in a highly digitalized environment, so we believe that digital progress can indulge us to largest integrate into a global society on national and personal levels.
ML: We wanted to say that we are tightly grateful for the opportunities that the digital space of Web3 has provided us. To have been doing art all our lives, since early age, and for the last 30 years, there have unchangingly been challenges to protract an art career in a pre-NFT era, expressly if you come from outside of western world. We think that the digital revolution enables people from variegated parts of the world to bring their visions to life, share it with the world, and build communities that empower the voices of artists and creatives. Art and science have unchangingly walked shoulder to shoulder, bringing progress into human lives, and to think that we are now a part of this movement at the avant garde of the new wave of technological progress inspires us every day. It inspired us to create our work to explore how intertwined we all are within the landscape of Web3 cultures and to curate the project “Mapping Web3. Eurasia.” to show how our cultural identities can be displayed and interacted within a new global space.
Linda Dounia is an versifier and curator from Senegal. Her practice is a conversation between physical and digital mediums. She trains AI models with her paintings and uses the outputs in her creative process. Her transdisciplinary works often write the social construction of power as it relates to identity. She has a preliminaries in Design.
Art Angels: the Digital and Physical Blur
SuperRare curator Mika Bar On Nesher invites Connor Senay from Art Angels to talk well-nigh the gallery, its philosophy, and cryptoart.
Out of the Vault and onto the Chain: the Evolving Nature of Provenance
SuperRare editor Oli Scialdone considers the social wits of provenance and its relationship with polity in the Web3 space.
Meet Chile Con Carne: SuperRare’s Spiciest Space
SuperRare curator Mika Bar On Nesher interviews versifier and curator Epifania de Gracia well-nigh her initiatives overdue the SuperRare Space, Chile Con Carne.
The post In Conversation with MABLAB appeared first on SuperRare Magazine.