Mixed Feelings
Mixed Feelings is Madina Joldybek’s first solo show combining the young artist’s new works made in the techniques of illustration, weaving, video and installation. The exhibition aims to represent and reflect on the experience of motherhood, as well as the ambiguous relationship between mother and child.

We often hear from others that childbirth is the only happiness for any woman, her one true destiny. But how true are such words? And how happy do women who have recently become mothers feel? Between various kinds of social pressure, guilt, romanticization and attempts to resist excessively high social standards, Madina chooses an honest, unvarnished conversation with her audience about what it really means to be a mother.

The exhibition curated by Dilda Ramazan was held from August 13 to September 3 2021 in Dom 36, Almaty. Within the framework of the exhibition, curatorial tours, an artist talk and a webinar with Elina Belyaeva, a transactional analyst in the field of psychotherapy was organized for everyone.

Photo credits: Dinara Zhex
Regular Star. Neutron Star. Black Hole, 2021Acrylic, cotton, wool61 х 67 cm, 60 х 97 cm, 63 x 138 cm
The breasts of a woman who has recently become a mother and started breastfeeding go through certain transformations: not only their shape and size may change, but so does their level of sensitivity. The triptych Regular star. Neutron star. Black hole is a sort of appeal to the acceptance of the woman's changed breasts and the normalization of their various states.

Pic from installation of the show

Work in progress 

Breast Collection, 2021
Acrylic, cotton, wool 
57 х 85 cm

Breast milk, like wine, can make a child become drunk. In the work Breast Collection, the artist imagines what a woman's breasts would look like if they were a dandelion — a flower from which wine can be produced.

Photo credits: Atelier Cauchemar

Photo credits: Dinara Zhex

Photo credits: Atelier Cauchemar

Chewed Up Cassette, 2021
Acrylic, cotton, wool
45 х 56 cm, 30 x 41 cm

In this diptych the artist comments on the exhausting process of breastfeeding, when a woman’s breasts cease to be hers rather becoming the center of attraction for a baby. The latter literally hangs on them day and night thus evoking associations with a broken record player that chewed up your favorite tape.

Photo credits: Dinara Zhex

Photo credits: Atelier Cauchemar
White Noise, 2021
Edited by Balnura Nussipova
Video, sound
Duration: 4:45 min

Created from the artist’s personal archival materials White Noise two channel video installation provides the visitors with an opportunity to plunge into the everyday life of a mother. An honest, head-on documentation of such an experience gives an eloquent idea of how difficult it is to raise a child.

Nestled in a corner of the exhibition room, White Noise invites with an open door reminiscent of a children's room cupboard, featuring wallpaper with innocent drawings. Inside, a teddy bear holds a TV displaying the artist's video work, while children's clothes hang on the cupboard doors and toys are strewn about, metaphorically revealing hidden truths, much like the saying 'Skeleton in the closet,' exposing the concealed realities of motherhood.

The Wall of Condemnation, 2021
Acrylic, textile

A dose of concentrated social pressure on a woman. One or more of these questions will surely be familiar to every female visitor of the exhibition.

Marry first, and love will come afterwards.
When do you plan to get married? You still have to give birth.
Why your child is not potty-trained yet?
Don’t hold your baby all the time. He’s going to get used to and manipulate you
Why so early at work after mat leave? Your baby needs mother.
Give birth for yourself, otherwise you will end up being alone when you are old

These illustrations tell about the invisible aspects of the life of a newly-made mother and the ambiguous relationship with her own child. The series not only served as a basis for the eponymous zine, but also gave name to the entire show becoming its core.

Mixed Feelings, 2021
Graphite, watercolour
12 illustrations 20 х 30 cm each
5 illustrations 40 х 30 cm each

Photo credits: Atelier Cauchemar