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041 / ETERNAL HOME, Kazakhstan
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An artist’s view

Written by on Sunday, 19 February 2006
Kazakhstan, Politics and SocietyOne Comment

you can access one of Swiss artist Da Vaz’s videos on Kazakhstan. This, well, unorthodox artist has been travelling through Kazakhstan and produced a 1.5-hour documentary without ‘annoying’ commentary.

It contains very interesting perspectives from throughout the country
– some bleak, some rather funny – and is recommended viewing for all
those who have a boring assignment to do and can afford to have a Google
Video window open on the edge of the screen. The choice of music
throughout the film ranges from traditional Kazakh music via Abba (!) to
full-blown club tunes (some of which is rather misfortunate).

Of note are the shots from the dry Aral Sea bed, the Russian exodus
and the impressions from Astana at the end of the film. Da Vaz allocated
a lot of his film time driving around in a car, in my opinion catching
the endless width of the Kazakh steppe quite well. However, by spending
such long time along the main roads, the images are also quite
misrepresentative as their overall feel is rather desolate and
Kazakhstan certainly has many very beautiful spots as well. And while
loads of cars break down on Kazakh roads, Da Vaz must have an obsession
with burst tyres and other misfortunes on Central Asian roads.

If you wonder how Da Vaz works, check out this TV-feature
on his stint at a Kazakh media school. His filming techniques are
certainly quite unique, not only for the Kazakh students. Maybe because,
in Da Vaz’s words:

He refused to go to any Art college. He disliked the idea
of learning the basic techniques. The outcome? A movement called, “Da
For Da Vaz, it’s not a question of techniques but how one evolves
along with the creative process. When you go through his work, he urges you not to search for his intentions behind them. It’s how you perceive them that’s important.

Jürg Da Vaz says: April 5, 2006 at 10:04 pm

Hi Ben,many thanks for “An artist’s view”. Excellent. To the point and fun to
read. Actually, the music is all from there, I found it in buses,
trucks, gas stations, tea stops, private houses, shops, bars, hotels,
radio etc.Check out “Eternal Home”, it is on
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkCxiE1Wlrw, you also find “Architecture
of a Trial” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3JLO-Vpk5U which I made in
“Trailer, embedded in Paradise” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAbPfoe5B_Q which I shot on my way from
Komsomolskoje to Kostanay, “Balance of Life” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1J5t163asA which I made in Kostanay
and “Aralsk” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DspCPvkUULo.

I love Kazakhstan, my heart speaks Kazakh, I feel at home in every
corner of this endless ocean and above all I love the kazakh people.
My best