Gamsutl, dir. Taus Makhacheva, Dagestan 2012, 16 min. 1 sec., video, colour, sound, Avar with English subtitles. Image courtesy of the artist.
Taus Makhacheva (b. 1983) lives and works in Moscow. Often humorous, her works attempt to test the resilience of images, objects and bodies in today’s world. Makhacheva’s work always originates from a story told or an experience shared, going on to expand out into broader collections of narratives and disciplines.
In Gamsutl, Makhacheva stages a masculine body re-enacting the spatial memory of the forgotten past of an abandoned ancient Avarian mountain settlement, once a stronghold which is now being taken over by nature.
With Baida, the artist collaborates with the performance maker Tim Etchells, to create a video ‘documenting’ a supposed performance that was to take place during the 57th Venice Biennale. The concept was scripted by Etchells based on the research Makhacheva did with the fishermen from the village of Starii Terek who are working in precarious conditions on the Caspian Sea in Dagestan.