Taus Makhacheva


Video, 73 min.
Materials: 4K video, colour, sound

Collection: Joint acquisition by M HKA and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (Inv. no. S0504_2).

A tightrope walker crosses the abyss of a canyon in the highlands of Cauca­sians mountains using artworks of various Dagestani artists on instead of a balancing pole. The walker, Rasul Abakarov, descendant of a famous tight­rope dynasty in 5th generation, brings paintings and works on paper span­ning through the whole 20th century from one side of the mountain to the other into a structure that evokes a museum storage. By staging this risky operation, Makhacheva creates a vision of subjective institutional history of art in 61 objects, questioning the mechanisms of functioning of history of art under the threat of depths of amnesia. The way how artworks are moved above the void evokes the fragile balance of post-soviet subjectivity rein­venting itself and looking for an equilibrium between the traditional past and the national, local and contemporary culture. Ultimately the precarious balance of the tightrope embodies the existential experience of an artist always balancing on the verge of appreciation and oblivion. (Silvia Franceschini)


Taus Makhacheva, Tightrope, 2015, 58 min.10 sec. video, colour, sound

Tightrope walker: Rasul Abakarov
Executive producer: Malika Alieva
Director of photography: Alexander Sinyagin
Camera: Pavel Filkov
Quadrocopter camera: Shamil Gadzhidadaev
Editing: Alexandra Pustynnova
Colour grading: Mikhail Perelman, Nika Digital Studio
Sound engineer: Alexandra Pustynnova
Sound designer: Alexander Khokhlov
Foley artist: Sergey Radzievsky
Metal Structure 1: Malika Alieva, Robert Ashurbekov, Isa Charakov
Metal Structure 2: Malika Alieva, Aliomar Aliomarov, Isa Charakov
Tightrope technical assistance: Mukhtar Abakarov
Technical equipment: Kinozavod
Production support: Abdulla Abdullaev, Patimat Abdullaeva, Patimat Ataeva, Natalia Bezrukova, Ruslan Dadashev, Gusein Gimbatov, Iraiganat Kurbanova, Magomed Magomedov, Nurmagomed Nurmagomedov, Akhmed Yusupov
Research: Malika Alieva, Alexandra Pustynnova
Printing: Marat Suleimanov

With support of the Ministry of Culture of The Republic of Dagestan, P. S. Gamzatova Dagestan Museum of Fine Arts and collection custodians Bakiyat Kakhimova, Zuriyat Dzhanbatyrova, Ravzat Otsokova, deputy director Ayshat Magomedova and director Salikhat Gamzatova, Department of Audiovisual Technologies of the College of Entrepreneurship No. 11 (Moscow), Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA, Belgium), Jan Van Eyck Academie, Altus Group

The work is based on the collection of P. S. Gamzatova Dagestan Museum of Fine Arts
The selection of artworks is loosely based on an unpublished article on the collection of P. S. Gamzatova Dagestan Museum of Fine Arts by Dzhamilya Dagirova

Production supported by Cosmoscow Artists’ Patron Programme
Courtesy of the artist

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