Taus Makhacheva | Russia

A visual artist, she holds a baccalaureate degree in Arts from Goldsmiths College in London, United Kingdom, 2007, and a master’s degree from the Royal College of Art, in the same city, 2013. Makhacheva develops a performance-based practice, working with video, photography and installation. A Russian descendent of Republic of Dagestan’s Avar ethnic group, she questions the traditional forms of history constitution, as well as culture and gender norms, through reflection on the role of traditional heritage in contemporaneity. Her work combines the Caucasus’ landscape and history into a meditation on the natural and the cultural, identity and otherness. Her works have been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig, Germany (2014); 55th Venice Biennale, Italy (2013); 7th Liverpool Biennial, United Kingdom (2012); 11th Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates (2013); 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia (2011); Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russia (2010). Taus Makhacheva lives and works between Makhachkala and Moscow.

Gamsutl | 2012, video

In Gamsutl, we observe the ruins of a village of the Avare, an ethnic group originally from the Dagestan area, on the Caucasus Mountains. Their isolation failed to shield them from outside influences that ultimately dismantled them socially and economically. In this piece, Makhacheva speaks of time as a matter of history, but also as a poetic resource to connect past and future. From the specificity of her cultural context, the artist adds poetical awareness and political critique to different experiences of the geopolitical South.

Artists selected from the artworks call for entries