Way of an Object

Taus Makhacheva


Materials: 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

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp / Donated by the V-A-C Foundation, Moskow (Inv. no. S0504_1).

For Way of an Object, Makhacheva selects three artifacts: a painting by the Russian painter V.M. Vasnetsov, a wooden saltcellar and a ceremonial wedding armband. The artist wishes to free these museum pieces native to the Republic of Dagestan from their inability to function and to speak. The objects are provided with arms and legs, and brought to life in a street performance by puppeteer Ekaterina Kasabova and with a script by Andrey Kureshkov, that has the objects debate about their role in Dagestan's history. And while they seem to come to life, the artifacts are still unable to think or speak independently. They remain marionettes and remind us of the fact that history's most determinative question always is: "Who's doing the talking?" Moreover, Way of an Object may be seen as a plea to find a more active role for objects in local museums.

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