The majority of the works in the Time of the Storytellers exhibition are videos. It seems to be the most useful and expedient medium whenever art needs to move forward in time quickly, particularly in the midst of difficult and hostile circumstances. The moving image forms a joint neutral framework for the stories, which the storytellers all tell in their own languages.
The setting of Almagul Menlibaeva's ritual-like video works is often open steppes - the archetypal ‘national landscape' of the Central Asian nomad culture - where exact information about time and space becomes irrelevant. The female figures appear like mythical nature spirits clothed in flowing fabrics or completely nude holding animal skulls. In her work SteppenBaroque (2003), Menlibaeva uses the mirror effect to create complete symmetry and flawless beauty as well as the festive decorativeness of the Baroque.Influences from a variety of sources and traditions are intertwined in the works: in addition to shamanism, Menlibaeva is particularly interested in Buddhism and the mystic Islamic tradition of Sufism. She has been described a 'punk shaman', who revives the values of nature, spirituality and mysticism in today's age of worshipping reason and technology. Menlibaeva's works can also be seen as feministic polemics, which exceptionally audaciously make womanhood visible within a tradition swarming with warriors and other male heroes.