I believe in ART!

Dear Natalia and everyone!!!

Didn’t get a chance to write yesterday. As I was printing invites to a show, trying to put all the equipment together. A friend of mine, Kirill, gave me his hd-ready projector to use in the show (its not full HD, but the quality is better then standard, its 1280×720 if im not mistaken). Blu-ray player I bought myself. And a friend of mine wrote me a disc, as I don’t have a blu-ray writer.

And I think this is a way it happens with most of the artists. You ask, you find, you try…to get some feedback on the show, on the ideas that interest you. But in proportions your efforts are so big and response is so small. My tutor from Goldsmiths Simon Bedwell founded an art collective named BANK  during the 1990s and they did lots of shows in London …and he actually said that in the end they grew tired of existing with no money, working for weeks for just one evening, the opening. One of my favourite works by BANK is Press release 1999, where they corrected press releases  (mistakes and meaningless  philosophical sentences) and faxed them back to the galleries they arrived from…Brilliant institutional critique to my mind.

While I was running around yesterday I had to go to Central House of Artists (btw what do you think of the scandal about proposed demolition of the whole building and replacing it with a new one and residential housing!!!)  New Tretyakov Gallery shares the same building and I went to see a show “Visions of dance. To the 100 anniversary of “Russian Ballets” of Serge Dyagilev in Paris”, co-curated by Zelfira Tregulova, who did an amazing show “Amazons of the Avant-Garde” in Guggenheim.

I was given boot mitts in  the cloakroom to wear in Tretyakovka!!!! I was shocked more then usual because this is a thing you would wear only in hospitals in Russia…

Taus Makhacheva IAA Taus Makhacheva IAA

Was astonished and chatted with invigilating lady about that. She said that its been reintroduced recently. And it is a very good idea. Many museums had this boot mitts policy, when she came to work in Tretyakovka in 1994 visitors had to put on fabric shoes with laces to go in…

Well back to the show. Was amazing. Sketches by Bakst, Benois, Goncharova, Larionov and load of original scenic suits!

Taus Makhacheva IAA

General view

Taus Makhacheva IAA

10×10 original  curtain for the ballet “Blue express”  based on the sketch by Picasso from V&A

I have scanned few images from the catalogue for you, that particularly caught my attention

Taus Makhacheva IAA

Sketch by Boris Anisfield 1911, for the costume of water stream and gold fish. From Sadko, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, underwater world

Taus Makhacheva IAA

Oda ballet 1928

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From Kleopatra 1909, From Kleopatra 1918

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Scheherezade 1910 single act drama, music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Orientalism,clearly present in Scheherezade for example, got me thinking about Dagestan’s traditional costumes, and this strange perception of the East/the Other/Exotic in Russian culture. We (Caucasian nationalities) are perceived as the other now, we look different to Russians. I think we look quite similar to each other, Natalia). Its the nose, its always the big nose that gives away Caucasian ppl. Usually dark hair, and dark female facial hear, was harshly teased for that one in school. This strain of thought leads me to a certain racism towards Caucasian nationalities that is present in Russian, but I just don’t want to lead the discussion in that direction…

While looking at different costumes, settings and footages, I was thinking about my own works, how often I use anthropomorphic figures, creatures in my videos. This is a photo from a video work Karakul 2007 and Space of Celebration 2009 on the IAA website can be an example.

Taus Makhacheva IAA

Was thinking of creating a full cover dress with shapes of our traditional kabalai dress

Taus Makhacheva IAA

But there will be nothing but shape, no face, no colors, but one, no different fabrics,but black or white.And shooting a video, maу be a dance simulation…will try to develop it

That’s all for yesterday)


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  1. masha posted the following on December 2, 2009 at 10:52.

    personally, I like the CHA building – it reflects a certain epoch, though of course it looks dated now. I think it should be just renovated, the courtyard should be used and all the small galleries in there should be reconsidered, cos it is not clear what is their connection to the main purpose of the building.. these are my humble thoughts on the subject, but the giant orange project is nearly dead now anyway, is that right?

    1. Taus Makhacheva posted the following on December 4, 2009 at 10:14.

      Personally i like it too!!! I agree with your renovation thought and the lot of ugly galleries inside, small commercial ventures, selling mostly horrible art, they should be destroyed!!! Once i participated in Art Moscow there, was showing a video (DVD and TV), well the DVD was stolen with the disc inside))))
      The conflict about its demolition is so not over!!! Have a look at this (i assume you read russian?)

  2. masha posted the following on December 5, 2009 at 14:14.

    wow, bad about stealing dvds…