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Taus Makhacheva

MA work

Questioning the unstable boundary between same and other, acceptance and rejection, drawing attention to our efforts to merge, mimic, assimilate or leak into the other, no matter whether it is another person or another community - natural or social, rural or urban, real or imagined. This is one of the leitmotifs in the work of Taus Makhacheva, artist with Russian citizenship, a western education and Dagestani (Northern Caucasian) ethnic roots.

In her projects, Makhacheva traces and questions various traditional and contemporary modes for appropriating space and communicating with the natural, the man-made, the animal, the machine, the social and the historical.

Gamsutl is an ancient Avarian settlement carved out of the mountains in Dagestan. Today, it has only one remaining resident. In this video, a young man moves among the picturesque ruins, reenacting poses from paintings by Franz Roubaud (1856–1928) that depict the Caucasian War of 1817–1864, fought in this region and a dance of collective farm brigade leaders from 1939. The dancer is alternately an invader and a defender, a tombstone and a watchtower. Yet his frozen poses are hardly capable of being assembled into a coherent dance or convincing movement. They are like the debris of a forgotten past, hard to put together to create a holistic picture. It is no longer possible to tell one layer from another and say who belongs and who is an alien, what is today’s reality and what is an impression of the same place from an old photograph.

Info

  • Taus Makhacheva profile image
  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA Photography, 2013

  • Questioning the unstable boundary between same and other, acceptance and rejection, drawing attention to our efforts to merge, mimic, assimilate or leak into the other, no matter whether it is another person or another community - natural or social, rural or urban, real or imagined. This is one of the leitmotifs in the work of Taus Makhacheva, artist with Russian citizenship, a western education and Dagestani (Northern Caucasian) ethnic roots.

    In her projects, Makhacheva traces and questions various traditional and contemporary modes for appropriating space and communicating with the natural, the man-made, the animal, the machine, the social and the historical.

    Gamsutl is an ancient Avarian settlement carved out of the mountains in Dagestan. Today, it has only one remaining resident. In this video, a young man moves among the picturesque ruins, reenacting poses from paintings by Franz Roubaud (1856–1928) that depict the Caucasian War of 1817–1864, fought in this region and a dance of collective farm brigade leaders from 1939. The dancer is alternately an invader and a defender, a tombstone and a watchtower. Yet his frozen poses are hardly capable of being assembled into a coherent dance or convincing movement. They are like the debris of a forgotten past, hard to put together to create a holistic picture. It is no longer possible to tell one layer from another and say who belongs and who is an alien, what is today’s reality and what is an impression of the same place from an old photograph.

  • Degrees

  • BA, Fine Art, Goldsmiths' College, University of London, 2007
  • Exhibitions

  • Love Me, Love Me Not, Venice Biennale Collateral event, Tesa 111, Venice, 2013; Re:emerge – Towards a New Cultural Cartography,, Sharjah Biennial Sharjah, 2013; Topography of Masculinity Liverpool Biennial, LJMU Copperas Hill Building, 2012; Rewriting Worlds, Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art, Artplay, Moscow, 2011
  • Awards

  • Winner, New Generation Innnovation Prize, National Centre for Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2012
  • Publications

  • Interview: Taus Makhacheva, Andrey Parshikov, Andy Warhol's Interview, Russia, No.12, 2012; Frozen Dreams: Contemporary Art from Russia, Houssein Amirsadeghi; Joanna Vickery, Thames and Hudson, 2011; 'Strategies of Camouflage. Taus Makhacheva's actions', Marco Scotini, ArteCritica No.57, 2011; 'Shots into the Sand by Taus Makhacheva', Maria Chekhonadskih, Moscow Art Magazine No.81, 2010