Video, 73 min.
Materials: 4K video, colour, sound
Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp.
A tightrope walker crosses the abyss of a canyon in the highlands of Caucasians mountains using artworks of various Dagestani artists on instead of a balancing pole. The walker, Rasul Abakarov, descendant of a famous tightrope dynasty in 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, Makhacheva creates a vision of subjective institutional history of art in 61 objects, questioning the mechanisms of functioning of history of art under the threat of depths 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. (Silvia Franceschini)
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Way of an Object
Taus Makhacheva, Way of an Object, 2013. Sculpture, theatre with three objects-turned-puppets, a kubachi marriage bracelet, a carved wooden saltbox and a painting by russia’s viktor vasnetsov of a prophet bird.