Artwork Details

  • Artist Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev
  • Title Into the Future
  • Date 2005
  • Medium 2-channel video installation
  • Credit Commissioned and produced by Sharjah Art Foundation
Into the Future Image


In their collaboratively-produced video installations, Muratbek Djumaliev and Gulnara Kasmalieva explore the contemporary political and economic realities of former Soviet States such as their homeland of Kyrgyzstan. They appropriate the stylistic realism associated with Soviet artistic production and subvert its functionality, using it to critically examine post-socialist conditions.

Their double-channel video installation Into the Future, commissioned for Sharjah Biennial 8, depicts people boarding a ferry in Siberia on one projection, and vast industrial wastelands on the other. As the film progresses, its optimistic title is gradually undermined as the viewer is made to witness the devastated landscapes of the post-socialist era – covered in garbage and industrial ruins – and the painfully slow and tedious image of people waiting to board a ferry to the sound of the slightly amplified banal background noise. The film concludes with the closing of the ferry’s heavy ramp as the ship sails off into an uncertain future.

This installation offers a meditation on the effects of progress and metamorphosis. Shifting between slow-paced sequences of industrial wastelands and mundane depictions of people boarding a ferry, the artists focus on the moment when what we once imagined, discussed and planned as the future transforms into our tangible present context. The film provokes questions about how we deal with this transition into the future, and points to the discrepancy between how we often picture it and how it alternatively manifests in reality.