Taus MakhachevaRussiaVisual Arts2016

Taus Makhacheva grew up in Moscow, while her background is in Dagestan, in the Caucasian part of Russia, it this this personal connection that is often the starting point for her work, exploring a complex relationship between history, politics of memory and contemporary life. Working primarily with video as well as installation, photography and objects, Makhacheva often turns her attention to the traditions of her multi-ethnic origin before Sovietisation. The question she asks is what actually remains from that past: how and in what forms has it been re-introduced into everyday life by her contemporaries in their struggle to find the country’s new identity. The artist’s position isn’t nostalgic but rather captures the processes of mixing, borrowing and assimilation, of interaction between the familiar and the alien. In this sense, Makhacheva’s works opposes the official ideological claim for cultural authenticity and instead investigates re-invented traditions and newly created rituals conditioned by the commercialization of the culture that is supposed to help consolidate post-soviet Dagestan society.  She lives and works in Makhachkala, Russia.