b. 1978 Kyzyl-Orda, Kazakhstan
Alexander Ugay's photographs, videos, and digital collages deal with memory and nostalgia, particularly in relation to the legacy left in his native Kazakhstan by the former Soviet Union. His photographic series We Are From Texas (2002-2005) uses anachronistic black and white photographic processes to depict aspects of everyday life in the rural areas surrounding his hometown, the southern Kazakh city of Kyzyl-Orda. Because of the extensive oil deposits found in the area, the region is known colloquially as "Texas." For his project, Ugay affectionately appropriates the irony in this designation, using it to simultaneously acknowledge the provincial nature of his home and suggest the possibility of a global emblem of rural life.