New York

Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev

Plus Ultra

“Into the Future,” the title of Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev’s recent exhibition at Plus Ultra (their first solo show in New York) has a specific connotation in the Central Asian state of Kyrgyzstan, where the artists live and work. As in all post-Soviet countries, the word future there retains an ideological undertone. Only ever paired with one adjective, glorious, it has traditionally signified an emergent Communist utopia. The first juxtaposition of images in Kasmalieva and Djumaliev’s two-channel video projection, also titled Into the Future (all works 2005), however, paints a less triumphant picture.

On one side, what appears at first to be a modernist grid soon comes into focus as a close-up of the car ramp of a ferry. This image is paired with that of a monumental concrete pillar that is slowly, through a succession of shots, revealed as part of a half-built industrial

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