• Taus Makhacheva


The viewer observes a man performing what seems to be a ritual dance among the ruins of the abandoned Avar village of Gamsutl, situated in the Caucasian mountains. In the past, this village has been famous for its skilful jewellers and armourers. Since the seventies, however, Soviet agricultural and industrialisation policy has led to its rapid decay. The dance symbolically re-enacts poses and gestures from 19th century battle paintings, from Soviet socialist propaganda imagery of collective farm brigades, and also from the everyday life of the villagers. The human body attempts to physically merge with its surrounding, acting as an agent of re-connection with the “then” and “now.”

”” Ilina Koralova