Five Stans 09

Dear Reader (2024-02-05),
My fledgling (installation / exhibition), Shadows Passing (see end of this post for further information) has now been set free into the wide world to fly on its own.  So until the next sparkly object, I shall return to the “Five Stans”.  The last image of Five Stans 08 was the Burana tower.  In today’s post, we continue exploring Kyrgyzstan with a visit to Ala Archa National Park, and the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek.

My visit to the park was somewhat constrained as on that day I needed to stay close to a washroom.  During the month of traveling through the Stans, I tried to drink beer three times.  In each case the results were not good.  I think it is either the yeast or the water that is used that did not agree with me.  On the other hand, distilled water with additions (ie vodka) suited me well.

Bishkek was our second capital visited.  One of things that I found helpful to understand some of the architectural features of the Stans is that up until the fall of Russia, all five Stans were provinces of the USSR. Even though the Stans have been carving out their own identities since 1991, the monumentalism of the Russian psyche is still part of their cultural expressions.  In other words, the grand gesture is alive and well in the Stans.

Notes on Photos
~ 04, 05 – Every hour during daylight hours, the guards that guard the flag change in a short ceremony
~ 19 – inside the restaurant where we had supper

To remove the annoying band across the top of the full size image, click anywhere on the image.


Shadows Passing Photo(ish) Installation

  • Location
    cSpace Marda Loop – 3rd Floor
    1721 29th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta T2T 6T7
  • Hours
    The month of February, Monday to Saturday 8:am to 8:00 pm
  • Opening Event
    February 8, 5:00 – 9:00 pm (please note the new longer hours) – cSpace Marda Loop
    Liquor will be available for a fee
  • Artist’s Talk
    February 15, 6:30 – 8:00 – cSpace Marda Loop

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As always, all comments are welcome and sought.
Cheers, Sean


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One Reply to “Five Stans 09”

  1. And so we take up where we left off, learning of excursions within an uncertain and unspecified radius from a washroom, where the details are mercifully absent.

    1-I admit to complete bafflement.
    2-A lovely image. It brings to mind the movie “The Man who would be King”, which was also brought to mind with someone recently saying “detriments to society”.
    3-I am quite taken with this image. Something about the many lines leading me around, and the subtle shadows on the hill.
    4, 5-I’m not a military person. So far as I know, nobody in my parent’s or grandparent’s generation served in the military. My parents thought it was a good idea to send me to the Royal Military College in Kingston for a tour, and since it gave me a day off school and ticked a box of some kind, I went. I wasn’t impressed, and when I saw one poor cadet do a header because they had to run at attention (because our tour guide was an officer) I decided it wasn’t for me. The thing that strikes me about many military ceremonies is how pompous they are. The classic example is the opening or closing of the gate between India and Pakistan. This isn’t quite in that class, but it think of it as a kind of interpretive dance done by skinny young men wearing enormous hats.
    7 to 14-Monumentalism in full display. Whenever I see big statues like this I wonder who has to clean the bird poop off, and how often it needs to be done.
    9-Is the exception to the previous group. I quite like the contrast between the young and happy couple, and the formal building behind them. If I had to guess, it’s a cultural hall, perhaps for ballet.
    15-It had somehow never occurred to me that a former Soviet Republic would have a ferris wheel.
    16-Monumentalism and fun, in one photo. Nice!
    17-I looked at this one for a long time. I know you got it level because the steps in the foreground are level. But the arch seems tilted, and I can’t help but wonder how securely that wreath at the top is secured.

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