The Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents a solo exhibition by Taus Makhacheva titled «Cloud Caught on a Mountain».
«Cloud Caught on a Mountain» consists of stories related to contemporary Dagestan. Stories are a starting point for all of Taus Makhacheva’s works and they are told in local vernacular: ordinary people, everyday objects, works of applied decorative arts, landscape, traditions, family lore and institutional archives. Gradually being fleshed out with details and new findings they come out like clouds that at once assume a distinct object-like form. At some point, as Makhacheva puts it, you simply cannot remain indifferent to them. This acquaintance with a story engenders the artist’s emotional response, inciting her to conduct further research and observations, eventually developing it into an artwork.
By addressing local context the artist touches upon the themes related to the constructedness of history and cultural legacy, the persistence of ethnic and national clichés in the global world, the reflection on and re-evaluation of the past which clashes with today’s realities. In her video works and performances — featuring Makhacheva herself as well as invited performers — the artist renders these themes as zones of tension between various overlapping and intertwined realities — artistic, cultural, social, practical, and political. Makhacheva not only metaphorically portrays these zones but also attempts to find ways of dealing with them. The artist believes that one may bring about change by trying to discern the heroic in the everyday life of people who resist being chained to feelings of impotence, apathy and indifference.
The exhibition in MMOMA includes video works («Tightrope», «Gamsutl»), objects («Landscape»), the artefacts from a past epoch which are the artist’s collection of Soviet signs (such as «Dagestan», Sport" and «Gostorgovlya»), videos of food-related performances («Caspian Sea», «Crystal Balls» and «Stomach It» amongst others) and various video evidence of the life-asserting practices of Super Taus — Taus Makhacheva’s heroic alter-ego.
Taus Machacheva was born in Moscow in 1983. She has a bachelor’s degree from Goldsmiths College, London (2007) and a master’s from the Royal College of Art, London (2013). She also graduated from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2009). Makhacheva lives and works in Moscow.
She has been awarded the Moscow Biennale Art Foundation Prize (2015), the Future of Europe Prize (Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig, 2014), the Innovation Prize in the category «New Generation» (2012). Super Taus received the Kandinsky Prize in the category «Young Artist. Project of the Year» (2016).
Machacheva’s solo exhibitions include «(In)sidenotes», Uppsala Konstmuseum, Uppsala (2015); «A Walk, A Dance, A Ritual», Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig (2014); and «History Demands to be Continued», Dagestan Union of Artists Exhibition Hall, Makhachkala (2013). Her group exhibitions include 57th Venice Biennale, Venice (2017); Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2017); «Museum ON/ OFF», Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016); 11th Shanghai Biennial, Shanghai (2016); 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2015); Kiev Biennale of Contemporary Art, Kiev (2015);11th Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah (2013); 7th Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool (2012); and 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2011).
Machacheva’s works are featured in the collections of Tate Modern, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp; Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow; Dagestan Museum of Fine Arts named after P.S. Gamzatova, Makhachkala; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, San-Francisco; Uppsala Art Museum, Uppsala; and Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah amongst others as well as in private collections in Russia and abroad.