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Grown up in Moscow the artist’s roots lie however in Dagestan, in the Caucasian part of Russia. Connected to Makhacheva’s personal background is therefore her interest in the complex relationship between history, politics of memory and contemporary life, which serves as starting point for the most of the presented works. Through the artist’s preferred video medium but also through installations, photographs and objects, she explores and reflects themes and imagery from art history, anthropology, cultural and social studies. Taus Makhacheva often turns her attention to the traditions of her multi-ethnic place of origin before the Sovietisation. The artist’s viewpoint however isn’t nostalgic but rather captures the processes of mixing, borrowing and assimilation, of interaction between the familiar and the alien. In that sense, Makhacheva’s works oppose the official ideological claim for cultural authenticity and investigate instead the re-invented traditions and the newly created rituals significantly conditioned by the commercialisation of the culture that are supposed to help consolidate the post-soviet Dagestan society.
Text by Ilina Koralova