The work of visual artist Taus Makhacheva (Moscow, 1983) calls into question classical forms of historical writing, reigning cultural conventions and gender issues.Read more about the artist
The oeuvre of Taus Makhacheva (b. 1983) calls into question classical forms of historical writing, reigning cultural conventions and gender issues. With a stance vis-à-vis today's society that is at once humorous and critical, Makhacheva strives to reconcile the contemporary with the nostalgic, the local with the global, and traditional streams with the progressive. She examines the society of the Caucasus and the relationship between its history, collective memory and everyday reality.
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.
The work was purchased with support from the V–A–C fund.