Aika Akhmetova

2022 Aim Fellow


Aika Akhmetova is an artist based between New York and Almaty. Akhmetova studied Painting at Rhode Island School of Design and holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University. Akhmetova’s practice consists of installation, video, sculpture, and text-based work exploring intimate corners of being. Coming from a rather complex cultural background Akhmetova has absorbed the fading heritage of the Post Soviet generation alone with processes followed by the expansion of late capitalism. They had a solo exhibition at A.I.R. Gallery in 2021 and have exhibited in group shows across the US, Central Asia and Europe.

Artist Statement

Traditions and norms, cautionary tales and rules are at the core of our subconscious. When I make my work I start with that, with my own predictability and mediocrity. My references are culturally specific to Kazakhstan, Jalayir tribe specifically. I study the history of traditions and rituals and reenact them in “the wrong way,” upsetting the conservative side of the ritual.

I use found objects to make sculptures and videos that feel familiar and real, but will poison the ordinary. Those objects include furniture, mirrors, wallpaper, rugs and anything one might find in a home. By modifying each object, breaking it and putting it back together I like to show the process of making and breaking in my sculptures. Broken mirrors are stripped of their silver backing and put back together, rugs torn apart and reassembled. I am interested in allowing the viewer to see themselves in the work, either literally by having a mirror-like surface in the sculpture, or figuratively by implicating the viewer in my body while performing for my videos. I find pleasure in narrative. Each one of my works is either a narrative multichannel video installation or an object with a story attached to it.

Wolves Don’t Cry, 2021 (installation view)
Korpe 2022
Untitled 1 2021
Mom’s Orchard 2019
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