Taus Makhacheva (b.1983, Moscow) works with installation, performance and film. “Charivari” is an interactive multimedia installation exploring Azerbaijani contemporaneity, through newly commissioned works about the USSR Circus tradition and wider concepts of history making.
The exhibition also draws inspiration from the 1967 Soviet Circus documentary “National Circus”, investigating the representation of Soviet republics through distinct performance groups such as Azerbaijan’s Nazirov gymnastic group, the Uzbek clown Akram Yusupov and the Tashkenbaev family of tightrope walkers. The Soviet circus was a censorship-free and even anarchic space, almost out of regime control. Using the metaphor of the circus, Makhacheva addresses the ongoing interrogation into the lasting tensions between tradition, modernity and cultural authenticity from the transitional period of the Soviet into the post-Soviet landscape, towards the post post-Soviet futures.
- Taus Makhacheva. Film still from the documentary ‘National circus’ (1967). Courtesy Krasnogorsk Film Archive