Andakulova Gallery in DIFC Presents Said Atabekov

Again One the sophisticated selection of Andakulova Gallery in DIFC propose an original and interesting artist: Said Atabekov.

Yesterday we ha the pleasure to visit the gallery where we had a journey through the time discovering this traditional sport/ritual eradicated into the Kazakhstan culture.

The avantgardistic eye of Natalya Andakulova combined with the sharp art critic and writer Irina Bourmistrova made this interesting exposition happen.

The exhibition will be free to the public until March 12th. We suggest you to go to see this amazinge boutique gallery where you will be pampered with emotions in great style thank to the exceptional host Natalya Andakulova.

Here some images. Have a look at the video where we had the opportunity to speak with both respectively the Cultural Director and the Owner of the gallery.


Said Atabekov – a true star of contemporary art scene in Kazakhstan and internationally.

Solo show 66 Lbs by Said Atabekov, curated by I.Y. Bourmistrova, will feature photo, video and site – specific installation to reflect on ancient nomadic tradition of Kazakhstan the game of Kokpar.

Kokpar is a Kazakh game played on horseback in which two teams compete to carry a headless goat carcass over the goal line.

The title of the exhibition 66 Lbs is coming from mandatory weight of the animal carcass used for the game and cannot be just any weight. Heft is mandatory! It must weigh 66 pounds.

Battle scenes have been with us for a long time and usually commemorate the decisive turning point of a battle and serve as the agrandissement of the warfare and celebration of mythological or actual victories. Florentine painter Uccello and his famous Battle of San Romano introduced a new subject into 15th century Renaissance art – the battle, the painting of an actual event. There were of course much earlier examples like the mosaic from Pompeii dated first century BC representing the battle of Alexander the Great against King Darius (III) as well as the illuminated pages from the Shahnama (Book of Kings).

What is always palpable in battle scenes through the mess, squalor and the sheer disorganisation of the battle is a visual emphasis on the union between the riders and horses, sometimes with bleeding torn bodies, continuing to do battle even as the rider insists to continue in battle.

Battle scenes on horses are almost an extinct genre of art partly because the horse is no longer significant as an implement of war. The solo exhibition 66 Lbs by Said Atabekov reintroduces this genre back in to the contemporary field. The series of photographic works depicting the national game of Kokpar with its roots which run deep into warfare became a conceptual resource for the artist to showcase this Central Asian sport in all its complexity.

Kokpar is a Kazakh game played on horseback in which two teams compete to carry a headless goat carcass over the goal line. The origins of the game Kokpar are thought to date back to the time of Alexander the Great, when the nomadic horsemen fought against Alexander’s Army. The game is also sometimes associated with Genghis Khan.

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