Taus Makhacheva

Born 1983 | Moscow
Lives and works Moscow and Dubai

In her sculptures, performances, and videos, Taus Makhacheva examines the tension between tradition and modernity, as well as notions of truth, authenticity, and cultural assimilation following the Sovietisation of Dagestan, to where the artist traces her roots. For the 14th Gwangju Biennale, Makhacheva presents At the Eagles (Tsumikh) 2023, which takes its title from a plateau in Dagestan. In it, the plateau turns into a stage set that collapses public memorialisation and personal memory of Makhacheva’s late grandfather, Rasul Gamzatov, who was a celebrated poet in the Soviet Union. The artist character is presented through a series of encounters and scenarios where a polyphony of voices lay claim to Gamzatov, including art handlers, a van driver, and police officers, all of whom retell their own narratives about the poet. Together, their recollections pose the question of who can claim memory of a person who no longer exists.

Taus Makhacheva, At the Eagles (Tsumikh) 2023. Single-channel video, colour, sound. 58 mins, 39 secs. Courtesy the artist, Supported by Sharjah Art Foundation Production Grant and the Patrons Group at the Tselinny Center of Contemporary Culture. Film still. Image courtesy the artist