Taus Makhacheva

Miziano300px BA FIne Art Goldsmiths College (London, 2007) and MA Royal College of Art (London, 2013). “Future of Europe” prize (2014, Leipzig) and “Innovation” prize, NCAA (2012). Selected show: Kyiv Biennial (2015), 6 6th Moscow Biennale (2015), (In)sidenotes ( 2015, Upsala Konstmuseum), Untitled… (2014, Garage Museum), Hystory Demands to be Continued (2013), 11 Sharjah Biennial (2013), Liverpool biennial (2012). Lives and works in Moscow.


A tightrope walker crosses the abyss of a canyon in the highlands of Caucasians mountains using artworks of various Dagestani artists instead of a balancing pole or hanging on the balancing pole. The walker, Rasul Abakarov, descendant of a famous tightrope dynasty in its 5th generation, brings paintings and works on paper spanning through the whole 20th century from one side of the mountain to the other into a structure that evokes a museum storage.
By staging this risky operation, artist creates a vision of subjective institutional history of art in 61 object, questioning the mechanisms of functioning of history of art under the threat of amnesia. The way how artworks are moved above the void evokes the fragile balance of post-soviet subjectivity reinventing itself and looking for an equilibrium between the traditional past and the national, local and contemporary culture. Ultimately the precarious balance of the tightrope embodies the existential experience of an artist always balancing on the verge of appreciation and oblivion.
This work is part of the series, which also includes performance “On the Benefits of Pyramids in Cultural Education, Strengthening of National Consciousness, and the Formation of Moral and Ethical Guideposts”.
Production was supported by Cosmoscow Artists Patrons Programme.