The exhibition A Walk, A Dance, A Ritual at the Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig presents a comprehensive selection of works by Taus Makhacheva, the winner of the Art Prize The Future of Europe Leipzig 2013, shown here for the first time in Germany.
The artist’s viewpoint is not nostalgic, however, but focuses on capturing the processes of mixing, borrowing and assimilation, of interaction between the familiar and the alien. In this sense, Makhacheva’s works oppose the official ideological claim for cultural authenticity. Instead, she investigates re-invented traditions, for instance the highly commercialised lavish wedding ceremonies (A Space of Celebration, 2009), or the newly created rituals of initiation by means of illegal car races (The Fast and The Furious, 2011).
The title of the exhibition A Walk, A Dance, A Ritual points towards actions and practices, which often feature in Taus Makhacheva’s oeuvres. Through the re-animation of forgotten gestures and rites, the human being—in most cases the artist herself—physically explores his/her immediate (social) environment in an attempt to analyse it, to establish connections, to be accepted within and by that same environment. The artist’s practice thus reflects a societal condition that applies not only in the Caucasian context. This is the seemingly paradoxical experience of belonging to a certain community/society while at the same time observing it as an outsider, from the exterior.