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photo by Maragret Morton


exhibt of photographs by Margaret Morton
of theatre piece about a Kyrgyz woman warrior
that performed at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York

August 2 - 12, 2007 at 18:00
B'Art Center - 1 Karasayeva Street in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
August 16 - 18, Art Gallery in Naryn August 20 - 21 Cultural Center, Kara Suu in At-Bashy Region as part of the Koshoi Korgon Festival

An exhibit of photographs by Margaret Morton entitled “Janyl Myrza in New York” will open on Thursday, August 2 at 18:00 at the B’Art Center located at 1 ul Karaseva in Bishkek. For more information call 53-17-85. The series includes twenty four large photographs from the Janyl Myrza theatre production at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York.

Margaret Morton’s project is unique in its multi-layering. The artist captures both the work of the actors and the projections of her own photographs which form an organic part of the theatrical set design. The complex images reveal the beauty of the land, the traditions of the Kyrgyz people and inform us about the production in New York.

Janyl Myrza is a collaborative work by the Sakhna Theatre and Yara Arts Group from La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York. Director Virlana Tkacz, designer Watoku Ueno, photographer Margaret Morton and actress Susan Hyon are in Bishkek rehearsing with their Kyrgyz colleagues.

The Janyl Myrza project was initiated in 2005 when Virlana Tkacz met the Sakhna Theatre of Bishkek, which is dedicated to reviving the Kyrgyz epics as nomadic theatre. In July 2006 Yara artists came to Kyrgyzstan where together with actors from Sakhna theatre, they researched the story of Janyl in the landscape where the events took place. They traveled to villages and the alpine pasturelands of Naryn and At-Bashy, and met with people who preserve the skills that anchor the story. They recorded epic singers and lamenters, and photographed eagle hunters and felt makers. Traveling through Janyl’s homeland, Margaret Morton created a series of photographs that are used in the theatre production.

Margaret Morton graduated from the Yale University School of Art and is a fulltime professor at The Cooper Union in the School of Art. Since 1989, Morton has documented the dwellings that homeless individuals create for themselves. Books from her ongoing project include Glass House, photographs and oral histories of thirty-five young squatters who set up a highly-structured community in an abandoned glass factory (Penn State Press, 2004).

Reviews or articles on Morton’s project have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, as well as such international publications as Time Out (London), Die Zeit and Der Spiegel (Germany), and Asahi (Tokyo). Fragile Dwelling was produced by Voyager Company as a Web site (

Morton’s photographs have been exhibited in New York City at the New Museum for Contemporary Art, The Museum of the City of New York, New York Historical Society, The Urban Center, Aperture Foundation’s Burden Gallery, Lowinsky Gallery, and Bodell Gallery, and throughout the United States, including the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Cranbrook Art Museum. Her work has also been displayed internationally in museums and galleries in Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy, Korea, and Switzerland.

In 2006 Margaret Morton was invited by Kyrgyz curator Shaarbek Amankulov to take part in the international project “South Pole” in Osh. “Janyl in New York” is her first show in Kyrgyzstan and her first exhibit of theatre photography.

The photography exhibit opens in Bishkek at the B’Art Center on August 2nd at 18:00 and also travels with the production of Janyl Myrza to Naryn and Kara Suu near At-Bashi.

Additional information and photographs from Janyl Myrza in New York March 2007

For pictures and information on Janyl Myrza in her Homeland August 2007
For pictures from Yara's research into the Celestial Mountains July 2006
For pictures and information on Yara's workshop of Janyl Myrza in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan August, 2006
For information on related Kyrgyz Spring in New York

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