Taus Makhacheva
(Makhachkala & Moscow)


A new lecture performance by Makhacheva with lively ruminations about menus derived from histories of starvation; puzzling cutlery accompanying dishes from two different sides of a war, hidden lollipops shapes in Lenin’s head, and many other objects of desire. Within the vast sensual territorial boundaries of deprivation and consumption, many pathways “illuminated overlooked historical, cultural and personal layers of significance that constitute the world according to Taus Makhacheva.

I take a timeline as a starting point; I take a point on that timeline as a starting point. A sound your body rarely makes, the intimacy of sharing when there is little left to share. You listen to me, you try to stomach it, stomach the past in your present gut. Who started this, who shapes this history, what shape do the brains take in your mouth. Changing numbers on bread coupons, a test of how little one needs to be able to lift a finger. Can you even swallow meat made from newspaper, soup made from wallpaper paste. Can you swallow that past, a past bereft of choice. Do we even mention cannibalism here, do we even mention the historical facts of famine and cannibalism caused by the state. Is this how your plate would have looked. It’s a line, it’s a small boat, I travel across the water into the past, dishes float by, I catch something every now and then with a net, I take it out for you to swallow.

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Taus Makhacheva, Microbeads, 2017. Performance documentation FIELD MEETING Take 5: Thinking Project, November 15th at SVA Theatre.


Taus Makhacheva’s work invariably focuses on the history and imagery of her native Dagestan. Employing a broad range of artistic media from video to ethnic cuisine, Makhacheva makes a bold attempt to bring together the traditional and the modern, the momentary and the eternal, the ironic and the profound. The genesis of The Way of an Object (2013) can be found in Makhacheva’s long-term research work at the P. S. Gamzatova Museum of Fine Arts in Makhachkala, which prompted an interest in museum objects. Exhibited in a museum at the periphery of the international art world, such objects risk disappearing “beyond the bounds of culture.” Recent exhibitions include “Viva Arte Viva”, 57th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia (2017), Performing the Landscape, Contemporary Calgary, Canada, Museum On/Off, Galerie 0, Espace Prospectif, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, The Travellers, Zacheta, National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland, among others.
Taus Makhacheva, Tightrope. 2015, Video, 58:10 min, © Still: Taus Makhacheva, Repro: Haupt & Binder