'Requiem for a Dollar' by Aziya (November 19th - December 9th)


Requiem for a Dollar  is an exhibition that exposes how the capitalist system is built upon inequality. With the recent Covid 19 epidemic, its flaws became more prominent than ever and inspired Ikhtymbayeva to address questions regarding its core idea: money. She develops the concept of ‘souvenir’ currency to explore society’s shift towards digital currency. This change will render physical money as merely a souvenir from the past; nothing more than a piece of paper which humanity valorized. 


Artist Statement

I was born in 1988 in Almaty, Kazakhstan and grew up in a family full of artists and cinematographers. Art studios and the theatre were my second home. This environment exposed me to different forms of art which I continued to explore through my bachelor and master degrees in media and communications. Although I have experimented with various mediums such as music and fashion design, painting has always been my core interest. 

My role as an artist is to stand as an independent observer, visualising current trends and phenomena that affects the world we live in. I aim to address the prevalence of popular culture in everyday life and provide a visual guide regarding relevant issues. My medium of expression includes acrylic, oil paints, markers and paper applications.

In Requiem for a Dollar, I explore the functions of Capitalism as our current economic regime. This has been especially relevant during the Covid 19 epidemic which exposes the enormous wealth gap between the working class and the elites. The idea that money is the core element of the society we live in is being further interrogated and analysed. I developed the concept of ‘souvenir’ currency to highlight that money is shifting from physical to digital. 

The portfolio consists of 10 artworks that convey different views on capitalism and money. In my work, I observe and narrate the idea of capitalism throughout history and its impact on social norms by the means of colour palette, symbolism, and text.


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